As a new Chicken Express outlet nears completion, and others like Brickhouse Cafe, have already opened, within Hope two more established businesses have called it quits this week, continuing a troubling trend over the past couple of years, where “Going out of business” signs have matched “Grand opening” ones.

As a new Chicken Express outlet nears completion, and others like Brickhouse Cafe, have already opened, within Hope two more established businesses have called it quits this week, continuing a troubling trend over the past couple of years, where “Going out of business” signs have matched “Grand opening” ones.
Both Johnson’s Warehouse Showroom and Boonies Restaurant publicly announced closings the past seven days, with Boonies, a well-known local catfish and steakhouse, serving its last customers last Friday.
The popular family-owned eatery was open nightly on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and by Monday, had a sign posted saying, “Closed” and “For Sale” in front of the building, located at 504 W Compress St.
At about the same time, Johnson’s hung a big neon orange and yellow sign at its 809 N. Hervey location, saying “After 20 years, store closing.”
In a prepared statement, Johnson’s store owner Max Johnson said, “With the down turn in the economy, it has made it hard to be competitive. We are consolidating our business to the Pine Bluff and Fordyce locations, to better serve our customers. Thank you Hope for all of the wonderful years of business. After serving the community for over 20 years, it will be a great loss for our local shoppers.”
The Hope location announced a “store closing liquidation,” and Johnson said “During the closing liquidation, we will sell all our inventory. We would rather sell it than have to move it.”
Johnson’s Warehouse Showroom as it was called was known for its high quality furniture, appliances. and electronics for living room, bedroom, and dining room, and included recliners and mattress sets.
The prepared statement sent to the Hope Star by Johnson’s did not specify number of employees affected by the closure, or if they would be transferred to the other store locations in the state.
While Johnson’s was still conducting it liquidation as the Hope Star was going to press for Friday’s edition, Boonies had already shutdown and laid off a number of employees, including kitchen personnel and waitresses.
Other notable consumer outlet activities in Hope also have included two existing businesses relocating.
Earlier this year, El Agaves Mexican Restaurant relocated from its original 511 S Main St. location to a new bigger site at 501 N Hervey St., formerly old Karate Pig which closed in May 2016. El Agaves is scheduled to host a Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event on Thursday, November 16, starting at 4:30 p.m. at the new location.
Christian store Hearts & Hands, which was also in the Johnson Shopping Center at 809 N. Hervey, moved into downtown Hope on Main and Second two weeks ago. A Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting has been scheduled for the new location at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 7.