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Monday, Oct. 5, 2020

Phasing In New Options

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Fatty Arbuckle’s Making Moves with a New Food Menu

For Fatty Arbuckle’s to reopen to the public at the start of Phase 2 this summer, owner Chase Boytim knew he would need to convert the pub into a restaurant. Fortunately, a plan for this exact business model was already in motion for the whiskey bar in downtown Shreveport.

“We were working on a food menu before we knew that we’d need to become a restaurant to reopen,” Boytim said. “And we wouldn’t be open [today] if we hadn’t jumped on this opportunity.”

The paperwork was filed, the bar was painted, and the kitchen was furnished; on June 5, Boytim and his team served their first of many fried bologna sandwiches. This customer-favorite joins other sandwiches like The Bellini, Bocadillo, Basil Pesto, and Boulevard BLT. A variety of tapas, including a ceviche tostada, marinated olives, and garlic prawns, can be ordered, and the menu lists a three- and four-cheese cheese board.

To date, the fried bologna sandwich – served between two slices of Lowder Baking Company Texas Toast – remains the top seller.

The new downtown restaurant’s success during a global pandemic is primarily due to community support and Boytim’s network of local business owners. Although, Boytim said, it hasn’t been exactly easy.

With limited hours of operation comes a decrease in business. “Once we had to adjust our hours and close at 11 p.m., it was difficult,” he said. “A large portion of our business comes from casino personnel once they’re off work, which is pretty late.”

Boytim has implemented changes of his own to ensure his employees’ and patrons’ health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying his intention has been to be overly cautious. Masks have been required upon entry even before local and state mandates, and just over 25 percent of the restaurant may be occupied (note: there is patio seating). At the same time, Phase 3’s order (issued Sept. 11) allows bars and restaurants to be at 75 percent capacity.

“We hope soon to get back as close to normalcy as possible,” he said. “It’s worth a wish.”

On Oct. 16, Boytim plans to launch an expansion of the Fatty Arbuckle’s menu, including various new cocktails, such as the Barrel Pick Smoked Old Fashioned and Smoked Rosemary Negroni.

Fatty Arbuckle’s is located at 450 Clyde Fant Parkway (under the bridge), in Shreveport, La. Hours of operation: Mon. – Fri.: 2 – 11 p.m., and Sat. & Sun.: Noon – 11 p.m.

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