The wait is almost over. Minute Man is set to open its flagship location for the brand’s relaunch at 120 John Harden Drive in Jacksonville this Friday, September 11. The restaurant is a stone’s throw off U.S. 167 and just across the road from one of the former original Minute Man locations. This much-anticipated opening marks a return to Central Arkansas for the restaurant specializing in charcoal-grilled burgers, fries and radar pies.
Many Arkansans grew up loving Minute Man and have been clamoring for its return over the past several years. From the looks of the new location, which is still undergoing some finishing touches before Friday’s Grand Opening, folks should be very excited about the beloved restaurant’s return.
Under Minute Man’s Phase I plan, there is no dine-in service, but takeout, drive-thru, and limited outdoor seating under the awning out front will be available. Minute Man Restaurant Group President, Perry Smith expressed a strong desire to concentrate on getting the food and service spot-on during this initial stage before moving into Phase II, which includes dine-in service and expansion of the space to accommodate seating for upwards of 70. That is estimated to come in mid-Fall.
Diehard fans will be happy to know that much of the legendary menu is still available, including the iconic #2, the Famous Hickory Smoke Burger with fries and a drink ($8.99). Rotisserie chicken is a new addition and a focal point of the updated offerings. A beautiful, $17,000 contraption, which is in plain sight of the customer, has the ability to rotate 40 chickens over an hour-and-a-half period. I can tell you that between the smell of 24-hour marinated chicken rotating on spits and hot charcoal being fired up for grilling burgers, the aromas throughout the restaurant are flat out intoxicating.
With the opening of this Jacksonville location, the question that is on everyone’s mind is, “what’s next for the relaunch?” Once things are up and running in Jacksonville, the management team will circle back to the El Dorado location to update things and take over operations. Do not expect any wholesale changes. After that, Smith plans to continue with expansion.
“We’d love to be across the river in Little Rock. We’ve looked at a number of locations there. West Little Rock would be a good fit for us. Conway would also be a good fit, and Benton is on our radar as well,” says Smith.
Until then, get yourself out to Jacksonville for a taste of nostalgia. Something tells me you will not be disappointed.
120 John Harden Drive (Jacksonville)
Phone: (501) 983-4857
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 a.m.; Closed Sunday