All I can say is what fun! We toured the 21c museum and gallery before heading into The Hive restaurant where Chef Matthew McClure sat at my table and shared!
Outside the hotel/gallery was very cool. My favorite hands down was a very unusual car, a Fleetwood Cadillac limousine that was covered in thousands of coins. The car was built in 1962 the same year that the Walmart Company was founded and the inspiration comes from the Walton Five and Dime that was located on the Bentonville town square. The information outside the car states “Because Walmart influences pricing on a national scale, the company saves every household $952 annually – the same dollar amount represented by the coins on this limousine…”
Inside the gallery
Inside the 12,000 square foot gallery is some of the most unusal art I probably have ever seen. This art changes on a regular basis and the hotel had guest rooms and suites which have custom designed furniture that we didn’t get a chance to see, but they sounded neat.
The whole concept for 21c and the Hive is based on the flagship hotel in Louisville where they take a former property and convert it into a hotel and active property.
After viewing the gallery, we dined in the very cool Hive that opened in 2014. Chef McClure said he had been at the Hive since its opening and he uses ingredients that are inspired by the local immigrant community. This is his second 21c hotel, he has helped other facilities get started and Chef McClure one of the original 21c chefs.
At lunch, the North American Travel Journalists that toured the 21c had wonderful pea soup that was dictated by the weather since it was served hot. I had chicken salad with pasture raised chicken. Others selected hand made pasta. The soup and chicken salad were both amazing and no one left anything on their plate no matter their selection.
”The 21c hotel museum and restaurant are small markets in middle America giving people access 24 hours a day. It rotates and focuses on living artists,” Chef McClure explained.
The Hive itself had its own original art. “This is made out of recycled materials that is a site specific piece. The honey bee is the insect of Arkansas. People come here to the Hive for work and leisure.”
21c has it all, a hotel, gallery and The Hive to eat, meet and greet! Have you found a place like this that is making small town America an art friendly hub?