STORY – A local landmark in the northern part of Montgomery County was recently named one of the “20 Best Restaurants on America’s Long Distance Hiking Trails” by the website thehikinglife.com.
The website published a list of the top 20 restaurants based upon thehikinglife.com’s creator Cam “Swami” Honan’s personal visits to eating establishments across the country. He was called “the most travelled hiker on earth” by Backpacker Magazine in 2015. His website is an effort to share his experience with the world.
The list of top restaurants span the gambit of eating establishments from all corners of the United States. Bluebell Country Store in Story came in at number 15 on the list. They are the only eating establishment in Arkansas and one of only four in the south to make the list.
Honan says of Bluebell Country Store, “Dropped in during my winter thru hike of the OT (Ouachita Trail) in 2012. Situated about half way along the OT , the Blue Bell is equal parts restaurant, grocery store, gas station, live music venue and de facto community center all rolled into one. The cafe’s meals are well priced, the servings are large, and if there is any place that encapsulates the South’s legendary hospitality along the OT, it is the Bluebell. They will even shuttle you back to the trail for a small fee if you ask nicely!”
His description may have been based on a trip in 2012, but it still rings true today. Lori Carly, owner of Bluebell Country Store, works hard to provide a one of a kind experience for each and every visitor to her store.
While Bluebell may not serve gasoline anymore, they have expanded their inventory to include a growing number of items created by local artists and artisans. The local crafts and art help liven the place up a bit, but the heart of the business is still the restaurant.
While most people talk about the hamburgers at Bluebell, and they are worth talking about, her menu has something for everyone. She serves a variety of sandwiches and dinner plates throughout the day. She also serves a full breakfast menu.
Bluebell Country Store’s location makes it an oasis along the Ouachita Trail and the Womble Trail. Located in the heart of Story at the intersection Highways 27 North and 298, Bluebell Country Store offers a place of rest for all travelers. Whether you are passing through or beginning your journey, the Bluebell Country Store can help your journey be a memorable one. She still provides shuttle service for hikers and mountain bikers.
The store also continues to host their Saturday night music jamborees. The musical event has become the heartbeat of the store, offering free entertainment for everyone, as well as a place for musicians to gather and play.
The Bluebell Country Store is open seven days a week. They are open 4 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 4 a.m. – 7 p.m. Friday; 4 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday; and from 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday.
To contact the store call (870) 867-3999
You can find more information on the Bluebell Country Store at bluebellcountrystore.com