Frisco Cafe Ft. Smith, AR

Discussion in 'General' started by murphy millican, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. I was looking through Frisco in Color by Louis A Marre & Gregory J. Sommers today. On page 19 I noticed in a picture of VO-1000 #213 in Ft. Smith, AR, that there was a large Coca-Cola mural on a brick building with the name Frisco Cafe painted on the building.
    I was wondering where was this Frisco Cafe located(the building looks kinda like the old roundhouse, but I never saw the roundhouse in person so I'm not really sure.)?
    Was this cafe open to the general public or was it a railroaders only place?
    Also how long was this cafe in business?
    I think it would make interesting model. I can just picture a scene with vintage Baldwin diesels and old Coke trucks.
  2. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hello Murphy:

    As best as I can recall, the building you ask about was on the NW corner of the RR crossing(s) at H St, right across the street from the current open air pavillion. It was no longer a cafe when I first began to be acquainted with the area in 1969/1970, however the structure stood into the mid-late 70s (possibly later) as I recall.
  3. Thank you for the information Andre. I've watched trains from that spot a couple times. Well I guess if it wasn't torn down in the late 70s or early 80s the 1996 tornado would have got it.

    P.S. Glad the Arkansas River Bridge is fixed now and trains are returning to a more normal flow.
  4. gbmott

    gbmott Member


    You're right, though back in the days of the Frisco Café North H St. didn't go through. The crossing of the Frisco tracks was North I St. (Ballman Road). The yard office and the Frisco Café both stood immediately south of the North I St. crossing with the yard office on the east side of the tracks and the Frisco Café on the west side. The Frisco Café was a fixture for many years -- certainly from my earliest memories in the late '40's though I think it dated from much earlier than that. It catered both to the Frisco folks and to the huge number of people working in the furniture factories that lined Ballman Road on the west side of the MoPac. I'm not at home for the next couple of weeks, but I'm sure I must have more shots showing the café than just the one with 213 -- I'll see what I can dig out. And yes, a perfect building to model.

  5. SteveM

    SteveM Member Supporter

    If you do have more shots and it could be still there in 1980, perhaps I can figure out a way to represent it on the layout. Looks like there was a basement and some other unusual stuff going on.
  6. gbmott

    gbmott Member


    I was gone long before 1980, so someone else will have to try to pin down the date for you. I suspect, though, that it may have been gone by then.


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