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MuleKick to fill Griffin's spot in El Dorado district

by EL DORADO NEWS-TIMES | July 2, 2021 at 3:12 a.m.

EL DORADO -- MuleKick, a Magnolia-based restaurant known by Southern Arkansas University students for its pizza, wings and locally sourced craft beer, announced Thursday it plans to open in the shuttered Griffin Restaurant in the Murphy Arts District.

The Griffin Restaurant, an early staple of the Murphy Arts District, closed in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We would like to thank our loyal Griffin patrons who supported us throughout our journey. Now more than ever, we would encourage you to extend your support to [email protected] as they take the lead on all things food and beverage at MAD," said Pam Griffin, Murphy Arts District president and chief executive officer, in a news release.

The Murphy Arts District -- with its restaurants, art gallery spaces and concert venues -- has drawn national acts to perform in downtown El Dorado since its opening in 2017.

The Griffin Restaurant opened in September 2017 at the beginning of the Murphy Arts District. A 2,000-plus seat concert venue, Griffin Performance Hall, flanks the restaurant in the original mechanic's shop. The historic Griffin Auto Company building, which opened in 1928, included a dealership, repair shop and filling station. The building got on the National Register of Historic Places in May 2001.

MuleKick's Christy Ouei said that her kitchen makes its own pizza dough, tosses it by hand and makes its pies with special recipes. Ouei said that eventually the El Dorado menu would include seasonal entrees and unique appetizers and offer Sunday brunch. Live music and trivia nights will be featured regularly, according to the announcement Thursday.

"The goal in working with MAD is to pair our vision for a strong workplace culture with the mission of MAD to improve the quality of life for all of south Arkansas," said Ouei in the news release.

Ouei said she plans to remodel the Griffin Restaurant into a more "laid-back, hip space," including adding fire pits outside along Locust Street and expanding the interior to allow for more seating and private dining areas. The restaurant is expected to open this fall.

"We hope to be a part of the new era of food and beverage in El Dorado and are looking forward to building new relationships within the community," said Ouei.

Information for this article was contributed by Eric E. Harrison of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Print Headline: MuleKick to fill Griffin's spot in El Dorado district

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