LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – When it’s hot outside, Arkansans seek places to cool off, and on a Friday night, restaurants are at the top of some people’s list.
Some businesses in downtown Little Rock are out of business because of the extreme temps.
As the sun beats down on Main Street, customers are making their way to their Friday meals.
“It’s Arkansas heat and even being a native Arkansan, each and every summer we act surprised, it’s going to show up, it’s going to rear its ugly head,” one of the owners at Mockingbird Bar and Tacos, John Campbell said.
When you walk by some of the restaurants, you might walk by and see a closed sign.
Doors having to close to get new AC units despite using fans, evaporative coolers, dehumidifiers, and more.
“It’s just brutal, you add bodies into the restaurant, I think the thermostat is reading at about 85-86 right now with nobody in here,” Campbell said.
John Campbell said they had to close their doors Friday to get a new AC unit.
“You absolutely cringe to even think about putting a sign on the door that says closed,” Campbell stated.
“It will be heavenly because it has been very brutal on our guests and our employees this week so, just to get it down in temp to make it comfortable for everybody will be a dream come true,” Campbell said about re-opening the doors on Saturday.
Just down the street, is a little restaurant on the corner, The Root Café.
They have been closing their doors during the hottest part of the day to keep customers and staff safe.
“We did close from 2-5 p.m. yesterday and the day before, today and we are looking at tomorrow,” Kimberly Foret said.
Kimberly Foret is a manager at The Root Café and she said they have added extra fans in the kitchen and dining space, and closed their outdoor area to guests for now.
They have also been increasing breaks for staff and pushing hydration.
“We are just trying to remind everyone to take care of ourselves,” Foret stated.
Both restaurants said they are so grateful for the customer support they have gotten while they try to keep their space as comfortable as possible during the heat.