Arthur's: The positive impact of a new business and the power of listening

by Charles Gerian

Halloween weekend is, by and large, a party weekend.

Kids have Halloween dances, bars and casinos have Halloween parties, churches have their own faith-adjacent events, local groups hold Fall and Harvest festivals, all to celebrate the changing of the seasons and, of course, that time of the year where you can dress up as whatever you want- no matter how scary or cute you want to make it.

In early October, Blackwell welcomed a new bar and restaurant, Arthur’s, and while the novelty of a new spot was a smash hit on Homecoming, only time could tell if Arthur’s would be able to capitalize on being more than just a “new spot” by the end of the month.

We have seen new businesses come in and make promise after promise, only to wear thin after the “must-try” newness wears off.

Arthur’s, I am happy to report, has solidified itself as not only a powerful force in Blackwell’s social scene but possibly one of Kay County’s hottest new locations with a meteoric rise to prominence.

Their Homecoming weekend an initial trial-run period seemed to be a success, and the anticipation around the location even led the business to walk back their initial concept of a membership-based spot.

The business had been adamant since their opening that they would listen to community input, and it takes one look at their Facebook page to see that was by no means an empty promise.

On October 18 the bar and restaurant and declared they were axing their membership program- a post that got close to 100 enthusiastic shares and over 130 reactions and 20 comments- all of which were positive.

Since then, the bar and restaurant has seen adjustments to their menu, new specials, and more, all based on customer feedback. That, in and of itself, is enough to applaud.

I have been a part of two different lunch plans which included trying out Arthur’s, and their food is just as good as they promised- maybe even better. Two of the people I ate with even declared their burger was “the best they ever had”.

It has been a long time, maybe even ever, since I have seen such unanimous praise for a new location.

This past weekend, Arthur’s had their first-ever Halloween party. Now, I have drank there a few times and had nothing but good things to say about the spot. The servers are funny and kind, and always go above and beyond to care for their patrons.

Arthur’s was so successful on Halloween weekend that I even had people tell me they left BECAUSE it was too busy. Now that seems like a good problem to have.

I stopped by there after my visit to the VFW on Ferguson and, of course, we know that I’m there so often that I’m shocked they haven’t started charging me rent.

Arthur’s was, even at the end of the night, still busy. People in costume were dancing, drinking, singing, playing pool, having fun. It was easy to get lost in the pure joy of seeing a new location be not just a fun place to drink, but a safe and well-maintained one.

Even when it was “too busy” for some, those that left early still sang praises over the service, the cleanliness, and the general air of professionalism around Blackwell’s fledgling but successful new spot.

Initially, I heard many voice concern over how Arthur’s and The VFW could co-exist in the same night life.

Luckily, they both are winning, and there’s no competition to be had, because as both bars are succeeding, Blackwell is the real winner here.

So not only has Arthur’s become a wildly successful new restaurant, it has also become a hot-spot for drinks and fun.

But, most importantly, Arthur’s has proven in their opening month that they are a part of the community. They listen, they learn, and they change.

I think we can all appreciate that the most.