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If you’re like me, I am always on the hunt for a good breakfast spot. Thankfully, Northwest Arkansas has tons of them! If you’re looking for the perfect quaint breakfast and lunch spot, look no further than Duffers Cafe in Bella Vista.
Duffers Cafe originally opened on the west side of Bella Vista in 1996. Over the years it built up quite a loyal following. Unfortunately, the pandemic took its toll. The owners closed the doors and put out a “for sale” sign for used dining furniture.
Sasha and Bruce Thompson were in the market for used restaurant racks for their soon-to-open chocolate tasting room in downtown Rogers. As they Googled the restaurant, they felt sad that such an icon in the town had to close. It was obvious it was a well-loved spot because of all the glowing reviews they read.
When they went to check out the restaurant racks, people kept coming up to the doors and driving by to see if it was open. After talking about it, Sasha and Bruce decided to purchase the restaurant racks… and the restaurant, too!
If you’ve ever been to the old Duffers, you’ll remember it tucked in the corner of a strip mall, full of wooden tables and chairs, and always with a touch of whimsy. The good news is that Duffers still feels like Duffers, but with a fresh perspective.
The chairs and tables are there, and the footprint is the same. However, it’s definitely different. Good different. The walls are brighter, the touch of whimsy removed, coffee cups are more modern, and even the glassware says, “Hey, we’re glad you’re here because you’re special and we want you to know it.”
You’ll still find baked goods at Duffers, only now they are nestled in between bottles of wine and a market full of international goods. Sasha, who is originally from Russia, added the marketplace so she could introduce international foods that townspeople aren’t able to normally get in the area.
“It’s a work in progress. For the winter, we are adding a market refrigerator with soups to go, along with salads, homemade meals and bakery items.”
Sasha and Bruce updated the menu and kept a few fan favorites.
“A lot of people are super happy about the menu updates,” Sasha shared with me. “For instance, we kept the Bobby Jones breakfast special and added a little meat to it and kept the 18-hole traditional American breakfast.”
Organic greens, gluten-free options, real butter, and fresh touches are added here and there. It’s actually quite delightful and a pleasant surprise. Even the patio has a fresh facelift!
Duffers has a famous Carrot Cake that’s been baked since 1996. Thankfully, the original owner shared the recipe. So be sure to put it on your must-try list!
French toast and pancakes are always #1 at Duffers. And it’s no wonder since breakfast is available during lunchtime, too. Some folks come just for the biscuits and gravy with a cup of local Java Dude coffee.
For me, I am an omelet girl and Duffers does it right: light and fluffy with good cheese. An omelet with perfectly cooked hash browns makes me one happy gal.
If you come to Sunday Brunch, they amp up the menu with a Crazy French Toast dipped in corn flakes, served with berry compote and fresh berries and topped with freshly made Chantilly cream.
Duffers is also known for their Rueben on Rye and Sasha was quick to tell me, “It’s the best anywhere, try it! It just dances so good with our French fries!” And yes, in case you are wondering, the two DO dance well together!
At the end of the day, Sasha and Bruce fell in love with Duffers and Bella Vista. They are happy that they were able to keep a beloved community spot alive.
We want to keep this little place – community – alive. We want to keep the people coming. We love the Bella Vista community and the people. Everybody already treats us like family.”
638 W. Lancashire Blvd.
Bella Vista Arkansas
Monday – Saturday – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sunday – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
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