There is a new venue for live music and good food in downtown Fort Smith – Neumeier’s Whippoorwill. Joe Neumeier owns and operates three restaurants all within walking distance from one another, Papa’s Pub & Pizzeria, Neumeier’s Rib Room & Beer Garden, and now, the Whippoorwill. Inside, you’ll discover food like your momma used to make, or rather, Joe’s momma, Jody Neumeier. Affectionately called Mimi, the menu includes selections such as Mimi’s Meatloaf, Mimi’s Chicken Salad Sandwich, and Mimi’s Fruit Salad, all created from her recipes.
Previously Harry’s Downtown Performance & Event Venue, the stage and bar area are pretty much preserved intact, but some walls had to be demolished, and furnishings replaced to accommodate the kitchen and new restrooms.
In keeping with his passion for preserving the area’s history, you’ll notice a variety of items on display which pay homage to days gone by, including a pair of antique doors from the former Tip Top Western Wear building which frame the kitchen entryway. There’s also the sign from Neumeier Nursery & Greenhouse, which his family owned and operated in the area for over half a century. Joe also brought in the front end of an old Chevy pickup truck which houses the sound system for the music venue.
With The Rib Room & Beer Garden also hosting live music, Joe intends to provide customers a choice of music genre. On a given night, you may find a blues band at The Rib Room, and bluegrass on the Whippoorwill stage. Bob Marsh, a longtime member of the Fort Smith Riverfront Blues Society, said Joe has always been a supporter of local musicians and looks forward to having an additional venue in the area for musicians to perform.
Whippoorwill is located at 509 Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Currently open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am to 9pm, they will be open later Friday and Saturdays during the summer months with the goal of featuring live music both days. While many performers will be local there will always be room for new musicians. Check out the band schedule and menu on Facebook and Instagram (@whippoorwillfs).