Arthur's club and bar welcomes homecoming crowd

by Charles Gerian

A new bar and club opening on the corner of west Dewey Ave and 3rd Street, Arthur’s, is built on 130 years of dreaming and a single motto: “Be good”.

The members-only bar and grill held their soft opening last week, and will be opening their doors to the public again this week for Blackwell’s Homecoming, starting today, October 4 from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. with the kitchen open for dinner tonight from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Offering a range of beer including Michelob Ultra, Budlight, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Corona, and Dos Equis the bar and grill will also serve liquor drinks as well as soft drinks.

Their hours for the week are 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Thursday October 5, 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Friday October 6, 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Saturday October 7, and 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday October 8.

Meals will not be served October 5 and 6 but lunch will be served on October 7 while Sunday October 8 will have dinner options available. The bar’s menu includes burgers, appetizers, pizza, salad, and an old-fashioned Harvey’s staple, sheetcake.

Membership to Arthur’s is $55 a month, with a plus-one being $15.

But it isn’t just a bragging right to have a membership..

Members will be able to reap the benefits of monthly meals, regularly planned themed parties, trivia and singo nights, live music, discount drinks.

Applications can be picked up at Arthur’s, and events are posted on the bar’s Facebook page.

Many will recognize Arthur’s location as being the former site of Harvey’s, a deli and supermarket that saw it’s influence span generations.

To understand what Arthur’s is today, one has to look back to 1893, to The Cherokee Strip Land Run.

The land was purchased by the Hendricks family in the late 1800’s before eventually winding up in the hands of the Pinkston family who, in 1939, built a 2-story home, running a grocery store and market out of the first floor.

In 1959, William H. and Lois Williamson became the latest owners- William being the brother of Blackwell legend Bob Williamson…the owner and founder of Bob’s Grill, a Blackwell staple that is still open on Main.

A decade later, the property was in the hands of Harvey Tucker…and so, Harvey’s was born.

The little market that could soon became a grocery store, restaurant, wholesale food provider, deer processor, and just about anything and everything that it could possibly take on.

The business thrived as the beating heart of Blackwell until 2008 when, like many mom-and-pop stores, it was unable to compete with the growing and expanding power of major chain retailers.

In 2014, Harvey’s was acquired by Bill and Jean Ward who kept the location alive until 2017.

In 2022, Brandon and Sabrina Ward purchased the building and work began on not simply reopening Harvey’s, but transforming it completely, building something modern from the legacy of the red-and-white checkered floors, honoring and embracing the location’s storied history while carving out it’s place in Blackwell’s future.

The bar’s is named after Brandon Ward’s grandfather, Arthur or “Art”, a military veteran who loved the good things in life- having a beer, and having fun.

Arthur is not only the face of the bar (taken from one of his old military photographs) but the man from whom the slogan- “be good”- comes from.

Friday afternoon saw Sabrina and her family hard at work, still, on the location, generations of help moving in tandem, eyes on the future.

“Brandon is a dreamer,” she explained from the countertop, “a huge dreamer. He had always wanted to own a bar and grill, and this was his chance at that.”

A dream which, according to the crowd of over 50 people that piled in for the bar’s soft opening last week, seems to be paying off.

“I thought the idea for a members only bar and grill was crazy,” Sabrina had chuckled, “it was something that we discussed a lot. And people have really taken to that, there was a lot of interest right out the gate. We always wanted to set it apart from other places, and give people a reason to want to be members.”

Walking into the club, the iconic red and white checkered floor of Harvey’s is brought to a saturated shine underneath standing tables, a novelty slot machine, a jukebox, poker table, and more along with a lounge area with a leather sectional and recliner along with a massive TV set for entertainment.

The walls are decorated in local vintage signs and old advertisements, and a stage sits in the corner of the main club room where the live music will be playing from.

Off the main club room is the huge kitchen where the food wil be cooked and served from, along with the bar counter.

Items on the menu include

The women’s bathroom has the smoldering faces of Tom Selleck, Burt Reynold’s iconic Cosmopolitan centerfold photo shoot, and a Roadhouse-era Sam Elliot.

The men’s bathroom, however, has the most eye-catching addition (aside from ‘Friends’ star Jennifer Aniston’s GQ “tie” photo) which is a TV set in the toilet stall.

The expansive, fenced-in, back yard will be home in the future to patio seating, cornhole boards, and more.

Currently, the owners are clearing out the old deli’s massive freezers to transform it into a walk-up outdoor bar and covered patio area.

When it comes to Arthur’s menu, Sabrina Ward said it was important that they listened to what people wanted.

“Chicken salad,” Sabrina said with a smile, “I cannot tell you how many people requested Harvey’s chicken salad. So we got the recipe, and we are proud to be serving that along with the rest of our fantastic menu options.”

Entrees include the old-fashioned ¼ lb “Arthur’s Burger”, the “Lucas Diablo” which is a hot link or sausage which is beer-steamed and grilled then topped with grilled onions and chipotle sauce, the “Harvey’s Chicken Salad” meal, the “Mother Clucker” a grilled or fried chicken breast, the ½ lb “Butch’s Burger” meal, and “Ray’s Rattler” which is a burger patty on texas toast with grilled onions, peppers, pickles, and jalapenos covered in spicy sauces as well as pepperjack and American cheese.

Snack options include “Cow Patties” (diced fried pickles), “Dirty Fries” (cheese fries with bacon, onion, and dipping sauces), “Not-Chos” (cheese and steak nachos), Harvey’s Chicken Salad, “Mozzarella Moons” (fried mozzarella half-moons), and pizza.

Desserts include Fruit Pokes (apple or cherry filling wrapped in pie crust, fried, and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream) and Harvey’s Sheetcake (sheetcake served with a scoop of icecream).

“We’re really excited,” Sabrina continued, “the response has been terrific so far, and we can’t wait to welcome Blackwell’s Homecoming guests.”