Entertainment district attracts brewery to Mountain Home square

A north Arkansas community wants to give people a reason to come downtown and stay there. And...
A north Arkansas community wants to give people a reason to come downtown and stay there. And it starts with renovating one of the oldest buildings on the square. But this is just the first step toward reaching that broader goal in Mountain Home.(KY3)
Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 3:39 PM CDT
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MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KY3) - The building on the northeast corner of Mountain Home’s downtown square was built in 1892.

It has been everything from a hardware store, to a clothing store, to a drug store. The walls of the building give you a look into its past.

"Found some old bottle caps, an old flyer we've seen from back in the 50s that was in the walls. It's just really interesting what we're finding in the bones itself of the building," said Chris Gordon, the co-owner of Rapp's Barren Brewing Company.

But you can look into the future in the new walls going in at Rapp's Barren Brewing Company.

“It’s going to create a completely different environment down here that Mountain Home has never had,” said Russell Tucker, the other co-owner of Rapp’s Barren.

The owners already have a brewery on East Ninth Street, but wanted to have a presence on the square.

They bought the 128-year-old property last June just after the city council passed a law establishing an entertainment district.

“It kind of sealed the deal for us,” Tucker said.

The district allows you to buy alcohol from a business and drink it anywhere within the district from 4:30 p.m. to midnight.

”You can’t bring your own. You can’t pull up in a pickup truck and drag a cooler to the tailgate,”said Mountain Home Mayor Hillrey Adams.

The district includes everything between East Fifth to Eight streets and Hickory to Church streets, and many people are excited to see downtown be brought to life.

“This is a good venue because it’s a brewery, but it’s family oriented. If you don’t drink beer, you can drink root beer, coffee,” said Geraldine Butts, who lives in Mountain Home.

Rapp’s Barren Brewing Company may be the first business to come in as a result of the entertainment district ordinance, but the mayor hopes it won’t be the last.

”We’re trying to create something that will pull those people that are here visiting downtown, and get them to spend a little more money while they’re in Mountain Home," Adams said.

That mission starts with a brewery that’s tapping into the city’s past to work toward a bright new future.

”We’re hoping that we’re going to be the last thing in this building. And it’s going to stay for a long time,” Tucker said.

The business is scheduled to open up in spring of 2021. 

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