FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA) — A longtime Fort Smith staple has been inducted into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, the Department of Arkansas Heritage announced on Monday.
Ed Walker’s Drive-In & Restaurant is one of three restaurants in the state that will be inducted into the 2020 Hall of Fame class, along with Cattleman’s Steak House in Texarkana and Murray’s Restaurant in Hazen.
More than 1450 nominations were received for the fourth class of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame, which launched in 2016 “to recognize Arkansas’s iconic restaurants, proprietors and food-themed events.”
Famous for its French-dipped sandwiches and extensive menus of comfort foods, Ed Walker’s Drive-In has been in operation in Fort Smith since 1943, when it operated as a gas station.
According to the restaurant’s website, the owners saw a demand when they noticed how hungry some drivers seemed while filling up, so they decided to turn the business into a burger stand.
Today, drivers can still pull up to the front, flash their lights, and receive service.
Arkansas Heritage also announced winners in other categories as follows:
- Proprietor of the Year — Scott McGehee of Little Rock
- Food-Themed Events — International Greek Food Festival (Pulaski County)
- ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ — Shadden’s BBQ of Marvell (Phillips County)
- People’s Choice — The Ohio Club of Hot Springs