All we’ve heard for decades is that Conway is a city that’s growing. And it’s true. But much like a growing child, Conway is about to deal with several areas of growth that will require patience and evolution and adaptability. Not everything will be right for the city. Not everything will work. But the next few years are vital to keep the city moving forward as a business destination and as a place to live.
While most everyone is excited about the impending arrival of Central Landing — and the fact that the area of the old airport didn’t just sit there vacant and unwanted — much will need to be done to bring this outdoor mall idea to fruition. The investment of money into new roads and better access to Interstate 40 is essential before one brick is set down at Central Landing. In order to make that investment, the Conway City Council is recommending the residents vote for a bond initiative that would allow about $20 million to be spent on those road improvements, as well as other projects. We will be looking into the pros and cons of this upcoming election in the next few weeks.
But with more stores and more restaurants coming to town, one might ask, “How much is too much?” Can we support everything that is coming in, and if we spend our money there, what current businesses will suffer as a result?
A recent visit to The Painted Table, known briefly as Table Mesa, gave us an answer. This is one of the finest restaurants in town, and dare we say one of the better ones in Central Arkansas. Its sister locations in Fayetteville and in Missouri are constantly packed with patrons, and yet the Conway location has struggled. About only six groups of people were being served on a Saturday night, while nearby establishments Mike’s Place, Old Chicago, JJ’s and Pasta Grill were humming with business. Is there a limit to the number of high-class eating establishments that Conway can support? That remains to be seen. For the record, the dinner at The Painted Table was incredible.
So it’s exciting to see new things come in and others get improved. It takes hard work and sacrifice and more than a little compromise to deal with changes that affect a growing city.
We just need to make sure we are ready and able to deal with those changes.
(The Editorial Board consists of Publisher Zach Ahrens, Editor Ricky Duke and Reporter Joe Lamb)