Cotham’s Mercantile, a walk into the past, one bite at a time!
Sadly since I wrote this in December, I have heard that this has burned.
Some places are just plain fun and that’s how it was at Cotham’s Mercantile.
After a visit to the Plantation Museum, we stopped by Cotham’s Mercantile for one of their famous Hub Cap Burgers. Scott Sudduth and Stephanie Slagle of the North Little Rock CVB said the hubcap was almost as big, as well, a hub cap, but we had to try one along with a side of delectable onion rings. No, I didn’t eat the whole thing myself! Keith and I split, but we did eat it all!
Stepping into Cotham’s Mercantile the is like stepping back in history. The building looks like it hasn’t changed since it was built back in 1917. Cotham’s has served as a general mercantile store in the Scott area for local farmers and plantation owners for years. Visitors of all backgrounds dressed in all types of clothing from overalls to suits, come in for the great food and the atmosphere. On their website they share that Cotham’s has also served as a military commissary and lockup for local law violators awaiting trial by a circuit-riding judge.
Cotham’s is literally built over the bank of a bayou off the Arkansas River. It wasn’t until we walked outside and looked round back that we realized the entire building in back is set on stilts. It gives you a new perspective to say the least.
The mercantile use of the building changed in 1984 when they added a small eating area that opened to serve lunch to the community’s farmers. It didn’t take long before Cotham’s got on the radar of locals and urban foodies alike. With their great food and unusual atmosphere they drew in prominent politicians, notably Bill Clinton and David Pryor, and the restaurant suddenly became the place to eat. I read that George Bush has been there and that even food diva Rachel Ray has graced their diner. But for me, while that is cool, it is the food, the walk back into time and the friendly servers that offered up the food with true southern hospitality.
Keith and I split (and finished) our hub cap burger which was served on a great fluffy bun with all the fixings. Getting the mouth open wide enough is the only problem you have eating this. After dinner, Scott said that it was mandatory to try some of the mud pie. Never one to refuse a great dessert, we asked for four forks and within a few minutes we had devoured this wonderful creamy, light dessert.
If you are in the vicinity of Scott, Arkansas, take the time to stop at Cotham’s. You could easily come several times and never see all there is to see in this fun place. It is a kick back and have fun experience and we surely did.
Cotham’s Mercantile is located near the Plantation Museum at 5301 Highway 161 in Scott. In 1999 they also opened an urban Cotham’s in Little Rock.