The POA sent out the following press release on Friday, November 4, 2022:

Village Restaurant to Close

November 4, 2022, Hot Springs Village, AR. The Hot Springs Village announces the end-of-the-month closing of the Blue Elephant Restaurant, located at the Granada golf course. Historically, food service in the Village has been a struggle for many restaurant entrepreneurs, and the POA is grateful for those operations that are seeing success today despite numerous obstacles including a shortage of workers and rising food costs.

In the past, the POA was expending significant moneys subsidizing Village restaurants. Recently acknowledging that it lacks the expertise to manage restaurants, the POA began leasing out the various facilities to those indicating they had the experience and interest that would lead to successful restaurant operations. The POA maintains a hands-off position with the restaurants, although staff may occasionally make suggestions when it sees a restaurant struggling.

From watching and working with those Village restaurants that are achieving success, the POA has observed some common behaviors:

  • Hours of operation are consistent at the restaurant so that Villagers are confident they won’t see a “Closed” sign when the restaurant indicated they would be open
  • Service is consistently good and, even with the labor shortages today, restaurant staffs still provide a pleasant, positive experience
  • Menus provide the type of food, at reasonable price points, that Villagers seem to prefer
  • Restaurant management works hard to provide those consistent hours of operation as well as to maintain a pleasant experience for patrons  

“Those Village restaurants that haven’t been able to figure out this “magic” formula for today’s Village diners have generally not been successful.”