Hipster Bentonville? Yahoo! seems to think so | Rock Candy

Hipster Bentonville? Yahoo! seems to think so

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Clockwise from top left: Fresh local berries on a salad from Oven & Tap, Mama Carmen's Arkansas Black Apple Nitro Cold Brew, the Mama Carmen's booth at the Bentonville Farmers Market, Oven & Tap lasagna, tap list and fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market. - MICHAEL ROBERTS
  • Michael Roberts
  • Clockwise from top left: Fresh local berries on a salad from Oven & Tap, Mama Carmen's Arkansas Black Apple Nitro Cold Brew, the Mama Carmen's booth at the Bentonville Farmers Market, Oven & Tap lasagna, tap list and fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market.

About a year ago, I turned in a review for the print edition of the Times to our editor, Lindsey Millar. In it, I referred to a place being popular with "hipsters," and he told me to take it out, declaring that the word had become so nebulous and overused that it had lost all meaning. So with that in mind, let me say this: I'm not calling the folks of Bentonville "hipsters." Yahoo! Travel is.

From the article:

It seems the fate of unassuming, small-town Bentonville was to be a hub for art and culture. After the opening Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in 2011, the stylish hotel-cum-museum 21C Museum Hotel opened in 2013, which helped fuel the art flame, and this year Bentonville inaugurates its first major film festival. It’s promising enough for hip locals to move into cheap pads and embrace the alternative, laid-back lifestyle. A major food revolution is on its way, too. Chef Matthew McClure of the Hive was a James Beard award semi-finalist last year and a new hospitality group Ropeswing is going to change the way locals eat with stylish new spots. Up first is Belfry, a contemporary restaurant opening this summer in a 111-year-old historic church.

Does all that make the town that most people still mostly associate with Walmart hipster? I don't even really know what the word means these days. But having spent more time in Bentonville this year than ever before, I will say that there are some exciting things going on there. My recent trip to the Bentonville Farmers Market on the square was fantastic, with not only a wide selection of some of the freshest fruits and vegetables around, but also great and innovative coffee from Mama Carmen's, tasty chocolate from KYAA Chocolate and a general sense that everybody couldn't be happier to be where they were right at that moment.

If anything, I'd say Bentonville is certainly turning into quite a foodie town. Tusk & Trotter continues to impress, and newcomers like Oven & Tap have made a strong showing. Matt McClure is bringing simple back (deliciously), and if the aforementioned Belfry is half as tasty as the building is beautiful, it's going to be one heck of a place to eat. They also do things like throw some great pork parties.

So good job, Bentonville, for getting some love from the folks at Yahoo! Travel. I don't know if you're all a bunch of hipsters, but I do know that whatever y'all are up to in the hills, it's working nicely. 


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