Serving up English muffins for three whole decades, The English Muffin in Hot Springs is celebrating its 30th anniversary on April 19.
Owner Denise Arbuckle’s family has a long-standing history grounded in Hot Springs after two generations of Air Force veterans made the booming town in Garland County their home. Venturing through various resorts and businesses in Hot Springs through the ’60s and ’70s, her parents and grandparents ran the Buena Vista Resort, the Vapors and Waffle House. Barbara English, Denise’s mother, brought with her to Waffle House her brother and sister-in-law as well as Denise and her husband, David. This small portion of the large and growing family ran Waffle House for many years, gaining experience in the restaurant business that would be handy in the decades to follow.
English had always dreamed of owning her own restaurant called “The English Muffin.” Unfortunately, her health prevented her from ever following through with this long-sought-after vision. In April 1991, however, Denise and David made English’s dream come true when Denise and David opened The English Muffin. Just starting out with their first business, the couple had very little money but years of experience on which to lean. Soon after opening, friends of the family, along with Denise’s sister, joined The English Muffin team to further strengthen this new restaurant.
Today, 30 years later, The English Muffin is a routine hotspot for locals to meet and enjoy catching up over fresh coffee and signature dishes. Hot Springs in itself is a travel destination for Arkansans and visitors from outside the state, and when searching local favorite eateries, The English Muffin is consistently at the top of the list. Seated along the shores of Lake Hamilton with views of the waterfront, the restaurant’s interior is decked out in sports memorabilia that’ll please any and all fans, no matter the team. An open kitchen and bar seating allows customers to watch the magic happen as omelets are prepared, bacon sizzles and the favorite English muffins (made in Hope, Arkansas) run through the toaster and are slathered with butter.
Popular menu items include any of the omelets (Razorback, Maui Waui, Seafood, Vegetable, Ham-Bacon-Sausage, Works or Spinach), the English breakfast (sourdough muffin topped with scrambled eggs, smothered in gravy and served with hashbrowns), Homemade Corn Beef Hash (two eggs with choice of muffin, toast, or biscuit and hash browns, country fries or grits), or, of course, any of the featured English muffins (cranberry citrus, cheddar, chocolate chip, blueberry, pumpkin, cinnamon raisin and so many more).
Breakfast is the highlight of the restaurant, but the menu doesn’t discriminate against the other meals. Lunch is served all day with classics served with an English Muffin twist. Some lunch specials to check out include: the English Pattymelt (one-third pound on a cheddar muffin, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, and served with fries and slaw), Chicken Ranch Melt (grilled chicken on a sourdough muffin, Swiss cheese, bacon, ranch, and served with fries and slaw), and the English Turkey (turkey on a sourdough muffin, bacon, Swiss cheese, and served with fries and slaw).
The staff at The English Muffin think of themselves as a family, and they give all the thanks to Denise and David. Most workers have been with the restaurant for almost as long as its doors have been open, and the same can be said for many of the regular customers. A vast difference from the early days when the restaurant was still finding its footing, The English Muffin has a solid standing in Garland County. With 30 years down and many more to come, it’s evident that Barbara English’s dream was brought to life with a side of grits.
This is only a taste of what The English Muffin has to offer, so go pop in, sit a spell, and take a box of muffins to go.