Northwest Arkansas craft beer news: On Sept. 15, Casey Letellier
and Dorothy Hall
will open their new venture, Ivory Bill Brewing
, at 516 E. Main St. in Siloam Springs. Never one to pass up an ivory-billed woodpecker story, we called Letellier and Hall, both of whom were at 28 Springs restaurant in Siloam before taking flight on this new venture, she as head chef and he as head bartender.
Ivory Bill’s taproom will seat 48, and though the bar won’t serve food, folks will be welcome to bring in food from the “half a dozen really great restaurants downtown.”
Letellier said they chose Ivory Bill as the name because Siloam Springs is making a comeback. Siloam went dry during Prohibition, and it was “the end of the convivial culture around shared conversations over beer,” Letellier. And when it’s gone, he said, “you think, well that’s it.” So when sightings of the ivory-billed woodpecker, long thought extinct, were made public in 2005, “it just felt like this incredibly, improbable and hopeful thing, something coming back we’d assumed was gone forever. So it felt like it made sense to name the brewery after something aspirational. And it was an Arkansas story.”
Also an Arkansas story, he said, is the revival of Siloam Springs thanks to its Main Street program, which has made Main Street more walkable thanks to a road diet, something that has made “an amazing difference,” Letellier said. “Now there are people sitting out on the street in cafes. It’s really been a transformation.”