Welcome to The Hill. You won’t see it on signs, but you’ll see it on t-shirts, and hear it referenced. The Hill is home to the University of Arkansas and the (not so) mighty Razorbacks.
The Hill is Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Hill is home.
It’s also where lots of people are headed on Saturday, September 6th for the Razorbacks’ home opener against what we hope is the even less than not so mighty, Nicholls State.
I’m looking forward to seeing friends and family, polishing off my chandelier for tailgate (What? You don’t have one?), and enjoying the overall atmosphere of optimism that heralds the start of football season. As you can see by our photo, Henri is thrilled as well.
Can I get a ‘Go Hogs’?
I promise to try to stay focused on the story instead of football.
If you’re headed our direction and your dog is under forty pounds, I recommend staying at the dog-friendly Chancellor Hotel. It’s in downtown Fayetteville, within walking distance of the square.
The ‘Square’ plays host to First Thursday, an art walk held the first Thursday of each month from April-October. This family friendly event features vendor booths, live music, children’s activities, and a beer garden (that’s where you’ll find us). Most of the local shops will also stay open a bit later than usual, and many will welcome your dog.
On Saturday you’ll want to check out the Farmer’s Market. Ours may not be the biggest, but I would certainly wager that it is one of the best. Aside from fresh produce, and friendly people, you can shop at local boutiques; you can catch some street music, usually on every corner; or stop at Jammin’ Java for a Naked Mimosa (Naked juice and champagne), and a bite to eat on their patio. Weather permitting, there is usually music, and though the fare is simple, the line is usually out the door.
Our first stop is almost always David Adams Fine Jewelry on the Northeast corner of the square. David is a good friend, a great designer, and his shop is dog-friendly.
David is well-known for his ‘Mother’s Rings,’ but he also creates sterling silver bone-shaped charms that can be engraved with your dog’s name.
Yeah, he makes fish shapes for cat-lovers, too.
After harassing David and getting my rings cleaned, it’s time to cruise around the Square to see what’s fresh and happening. With Henri tied to my waist, my hands are free to check out the wares, and pet the heads of other furry friends. The shelter adoptions are usually on the Southeast corner, but so is the crazy dude.
DO NOT make eye contact with him.
He will talk your head off about the legalization of marijuana, the evils of government, and something about seeds that makes zero sense. He’s actually harmless, but if you engage him, you’ll need a small miracle to escape without feeling rude.
A full circle around the square, including stops is at least a two-hour adventure. I almost always come home with tomatoes, fresh flowers, and
…a wet dog.
Henri, other dogs, and lots of children enjoy the cool garden waterscape. It’s a great place to splash, dip your feet, or soak your belly as the Arkansas morning thickens.
Henri isn’t much of a swimmer, but he’ll take a good wadding spot any day.
When we finish at the Farmer’s Market, if it isn’t too hot, we like to go to Sassy’s Red House for lunch. The patio is huge, shaded in most areas, and they bring Henri water. I always order the same thing: sliders with coleslaw, a side of fried okra or fried pickles, and either the sweet tea or a bloody mary. There is usually red dirt country on the radio, and sports on the TV. After lunch is a good time to go back to your hotel, take a nap, and watch college football.
Did I say I was going to stop talking about football?
If you’re in the mood to do more exploring, then head to Dickson Street. It’s the heartbeat of this small-feeling college town, and a late fall afternoon is a good time to take your dog for a stroll and check out a few other places.
There are several bars on the main strip that are dog-friendly, but you’ll really want to check out the 36 year old Dickson Street Bookshop. Well-behaved dogs are always welcome in this quaint little store where used and out of print books line their shelves from floor to ceiling. It smells of dust, old paper, and charm (insert joke about character). Around the corner from the bookshop is a regular haunt of ours, and a great place to kick back and read what ever you bought.
You DID buy something, right?
Located just off Dickson on N. School Avenue, Kingfish is as dog-friendly of a bar as you could hope to find. They have a fenced space, and when it’s not too crowded, friendly canines have been known to romp with one another while attentive pet-parents enjoyed a cold one.
They have an outdoor stage for live music, and though Henri sometimes goes with me at night, unless your dog is used to crowds and loud music, make this an afternoon stop. The staff here knows Henri by name and always serves my beverage with a cup of water for his bowl. We’ve spent countless hours soaking up the sun on their patio, or watching football from a booth.
I did it again. Football.
On down the street, is our favorite fashion stop, Something Urban. The previous owner, Amy White, has been my game-day dress coordinator for years, and the new owner is just as good. They have a water bowl outside the door, treats at the register, and they have always been BIG supporters of our local animal organizations. Recently, they began hosting ‘Yappy Hour’ on Thursday evenings. Yappy Hour features socialization and treats for your dog, and special discounts for you.
If you’re finally starting to wonder about dinner, then it’s time to turn you on to one of the best restaurants in Fayetteville. Their patio is only recently dog-friendly, and I’m hesitant to even mention it. Promise me you won’t take your bad dog there and screw it up for us.
Never mind. I’m not gonna tell you.
What I WILL tell you is…Erin, their Beverage Director is a Wine Goddess with a killer white sangria recipe; Jennifer, the bartender, always comes through for me when I call a color (red, white, rose) and say, “Something interesting,” and I’ve known the owner for years.
If you find the place, order the Triple Threat (not on the menu) of shaved parmesan, roasted garlic, and olive oil with balsamic served with a variety of freshly baked breads. I also love the mussels in spicy saffron tomato sauce, and the calamari. Both appetizers.
If you’re tired after your long day, you can grab a pedi-cab or golf cart cab back to the hotel instead of walking up hill.
Your last weekend stop is on Sunday morning. Get up early, and take your pooch with you to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Block Street. The 7:30 a.m. mass is designated pet-friendly, and when you go to the alter rail for communion, your dog will get a special blessing. We all need that, right?
Welcome to Fayetteville. Enjoy our hospitality. And forgive us when we yell…