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Oark General Store: An Old Destination for Newcomers

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The Oark General Store is a legendary Arkansas destination that began taking care of local customers in 1890. So often, when you pass a parking lot full of motorcycles and family vans, you know it’s an important place to stop. As visitors often say, “you’ve gotta be going there to get there.” But it’s always worth the drive.

During October, nature paints a scene that draws many Arkansans and out-of-state visitors migrating north along some of the Natural State’s scenic byways to see the beautiful changing colors. Fall will bring a stunning display if this spring indicated the reaction plants had to the long winter frost.

Oark General Store
Provided by Lorinda Gray of Ragamuffin Creative

In 1890, a need arose among local Oark (yes, the “z” is missing on purpose) citizens for supplies and groceries in the highly secluded area of north Johnson county. And as they say, the rest is history. As a matter of fact, the Oark General Store has been open continuously since 1890, holding the title of the oldest continuously-run store in Arkansas.

While many include Oark General Store on their day searching for changing leaves, it’s a destination on its own and or a stop while taking in other regional excursions.

Provided by Lorinda Gray of Ragamuffin Creative

Over time, the regular visitors have shifted from local supply seekers to off-road adventurers, and the Oark General Store has adapted. Today fewer groceries are sold on the shelves, and more restaurant diners show up for daily specials and famous hamburgers made with fresh, quality ingredients.

In addition to old-fashioned burgers, hand-cut fries, generous portions, and cat-head biscuits, pie is a great reason to make the drive. If there is anything Arkansans love, it’s pie. The official pie of Arkansas is possum pie, and Oark is a perfect place to get a bite, but they also regularly have Oreo, pecan, coconut cream, blueberry, and buttermilk.

Pies at Oark General Store
Photo used with permission from Oark General Store

Motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle drivers will find a welcoming home with a stop at the Oark General Store. Stop in for a few last-minute items if you are camping in the area. Or, sit a spell and enjoy the cool breeze and bronze glow of perfect fall days in the Ozark Mountains.

If you are planning a trip to the area, note their hours are Wednesday – Monday – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. They are closed on Tuesdays. Learn more about the story of current owners Brian and Reagen Eisele and follow them on Facebook for updates and new menu items.

Oark General Store
Photo provided by Lorinda Gray of Ragamuffin Creative

Other ways to experience Northwest Arkansas fall fun:

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in South Arkansas with her husband and sweet Boxer, Bailey and one-year-old son! Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now she is using all of those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom!

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