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Shaping Bentonville with Good Food and Hospitality


by Courtney Lanning

Bentonville is a changing city with an influx of new people, businesses and amenities, and that means new food. As new talent moves to the city to work for Walmart or its many vendors, these new residents represent areas of the country with plenty of diverse restaurants and food options. And they’ll want those choices in their new home.

Shaping a city through food and hospitality can be a daunting task, but it’s one the RopeSwing Hospitality Group is happy to take on.

The creative minds at RopeSwing believe that when hospitality is done right, it can be a transformative force in the community, according to Evan Rauch with Resplendent Hospitality. Resplendent is a food-and-beverage public relations company that works with RopeSwing.

“When RopeSwing Hospitality Group is opening a concept, we don’t question what we can do for RopeSwing Hospitality Group, but ask ourselves what we can provide for Northwest Arkansas,” Rauch says. “Bringing our neighbors together benefits the entire region. We want each concept to have intention and allow our guests to engage in the space with friends, family, or co-workers.”

RopeSwing has a number of restaurant/bar/venue concepts across Bentonville, including The Preacher’s Son, Undercroft, Pressroom, Record, The Holler and Louise. With each of its concepts, RopeSwing encourages curiosity with both guests and staff.

“We want both just as excited about the concept as we are,” Rauch said.

The founder of RopeSwing is a Bentonville native named Rob Apple, and his business partner is Tom (grandson of Sam) Walton. The pair has been featured Restaurant Business magazine. Together, they’re working to shape Bentonville’s food scene, one concept at a time.

And while Northwest Arkansas might be a well-kept secret for other parts of the country, Rauch said it offers a few benefits for RopeSwing; primarily, a supportive community.

“We would not be where we are today without the continued support of our loyal guests,” Rauch says.

READ MORE: Revitalizing Bentonville’s Market District

With each new concept RopeSwing opens, the local culture and creative spirit encourages the hospitality group to push the envelope with design, menu and new approaches. And then there’s the farm factor, one of the biggest parts of Arkansas’ economy.

“Our chefs also benefit from partnerships with amazing local farmers who offer the best products in Northwest Arkansas,” Rauch says.

RopeSwing wants to continue providing Bentonville residents and visitors with unique experiences they don’t see in their community every day.

“We want our spaces to be places where people come together to connect with one another,” Rauch says.

And guests continue to enjoy unique experiences at each concept.

“We feel there is something for everyone,” Rauch says. “Whether that be for a game of shuffleboard or a day of working remotely at The Holler; a birthday celebration at The Preacher’s Son; a rockin’ happy hour at Pressroom; or, watching planes land right in front of you at Louise, RopeSwing Hospitality works to create unique experiences for guests and provide a place for connection.”

The hospitality group’s goal is to make Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas the best place to live; many who work for RopeSwing grew up in the area and stayed or recently relocated back home.

“RopeSwing’s roots are deeply grounded in the Ozarks,” Rauch says.

With that sense of place in mind, RopeSwing will continue to shape Bentonville through food and hospitality. And food and hospitality aren’t just a simple notion or idea, Rauch says. Food is the tale of one’s history and culture. It’s nostalgia. And according to Rauch, it’s comfort and nourishment.

When that’s combined with hospitality, it drives a community together to share intimate moments over food through all kinds of situations — a celebration, first date or even gathering over shuffleboard, Rauch says.

“Ropeswing Hospitality Group is thankful we are able to provide these experiences to our region.”

As RopeSwing continues with new and existing concepts, it assures Bentonville residents and visitors even more great things are coming soon.

Rauch says, “We are looking forward to growing within our region and beyond.”

READ MORE: Branding Hospitality in Bentonville

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