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Blog-Series | Savor the Flavor | Harold's Diner, Soda Fountain & Farmacy

Well Hello There Harold! Welcome to our neck of the woods here in lil'ol'Eureka Springs. You're among friends here and we're delighted to know you.

In honor of Grandpa Harold, Coty Pate and Joshua Musehl have crafted a delightful, joyful space up on White Street that echoes his legacy, offering not just a meal but an experience at Harold's Diner, Soda Fountain & Farmacy.

I recently visited, so please allow me to tell you all about it . . .

Josh and Coty

The Visionaries

Meet Coty and Josh, whose roots trace back to Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri. It is no surprise that their unified journey began right here in our lovely little Eureka Springs, where destiny brought them together through the introduction from a mutual friend named Ryan.

Both hailing from distinct backgrounds, Coty, born and raised in Memphis, TN, carries with him the rich legacy of his grandfather, Harold. Josh, originally from Branson, MO, brings his own flavor to the partnership. Life expereince as part of the vibrant culture and community of Branson, give Josh an understanding and insight into the importance of community and the power of a shared experience. In his unique role as General Manager at Harold's, he's the secret sauce in the recipe serving not only in the day-to-day operation but also as outreach coordinator always looking ahead for ways to continually connect the community to Harold's.

Grandfather Harold, spent his days in the quiet town of Tuckerman, Arkansas, and who imparted invaluable life lessons to young Coty and Coty vividly remembers his summers with Grandpa Harold and tells that they were not just about the warmth of the Arkansas sun but also about the spirit of generosity, leadership, and a deep love for communal gatherings.

Coty shares:

"Harold was my grandfather. He was born and raised in a small town in Arkansas; smaller than Eureka Springs believe it or not. Grandpa Harold taught me to follow my dreams, go after what I want and everything else in life will follow through. He loved seeing people gather together and especially loved gathering at the supper table. I chose to name the diner after him to continue on his legacy and recipes. The ministry was also named after him because he would give those who needed his plate of food and the shirt off his back. He was a true leader, visionary and mentor that always listened to those who needed and shared his knowledge with anyone willing to learn."

The Logo

The Chef

Owner/Chef Coty Pate

Aside from his rooted connection to food from Grandpa Harold, Coty's culinary journey also has roots at The Art Institute of Phoenix, and in Lyon, France, a city that whispered the secrets of French gastronomy to a young, ambitious Coty. He ventured there some years ago to immerse himself in the artistry of French kitchens. This pivotal experience not only refined his skills but instilled in him the confidence to pursue his culinary dreams relentlessly.

His journey didn't stop there. Coty sailed the high seas as a private chef catering to the palates of the well-to-do and it was amidst the vast expanse of the ocean that Coty discovered the magic of creating exquisite meals with limited resources. I mean, "when you're out at sea, you're out at sea." He recalls the challenges of provisioning for extended periods of time in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. Yikes!

"Having lived here for ten years, we have seen what makes a restaurant a staple here and successful. I have also lived and visited some of the hottest and most trendy culinary cities in the USA: Memphis, Phoenix, Chicago, and NYC. This has given me insight to new trends, as well as what works and what doesn’t. After Josh and I spent time in Miami, another top culinary scene, we learned what it takes to set yourself apart. We feel that Harold’s is providing a new dining experience that fits into the Eureka Springs small town vibe, but still offers unique and desired culinary trends.  These trends will keep the locals and visitors coming back for more while they relive their 70s kicks." -Coty

The Concept

All this said, the menu at Harold's is a symphony of flavors, and a harmonious blend of Coty's childhood memories and his global culinary influences.

My friends, this is scratch cooking at it's finest. Coty’s culinary training and childhood background encouraged him to create ALL menu items from scratch. All of the biscuits, dressings, and ice creams are made in house from scratch - even the hand-cut fries!

Each dish is a labor of love.

The Menu

The decision to focus on a more vegetarian-centric menu was not just a culinary choice but a conscious effort to promote sustainability. Coty's vision is to showcase the versatility of local produce while offering a more environmentally friendly dining experience.

  • Harold's Biscuit

This is a family recipe from Coty’s family that he and his mom grew up enjoying. You can get it as a biscuit egg sandwich with an option to add a veggie sausage patty, local pork sausage/bacon and cheese, if you desire. 

(Tastebud warning - the biscuits taste like they come from a delicious, secret family recipe passed down through generations.)

  • Outta Sight Smash Patty

Another signature item is their “Outta Sight Smash Patty." OK, so this is more than just a plain jane beef burger. Here, you have the option of two different patties. One is their housemade beet/chickpea patty which consists of 100% vegetarian patty blend exclusive to Harold’s. The other is a meat patty blend of  pasture-raised bison (from Benjamin Lee Bison) along with pasture-raised, grass-finished beef (from RP Cattle Ranch) & grass-fed beef (from Terra Rosa Ranch.) MMMmmm, it really IS outta sight!

You definitely have to try both of these patty’s with Chef Coty’s signature Memphis Mudd BBQ Sauce! (Local tip: order a delicious vegetarian version BBQ sandwich. It comes with smoked purple cabbage and it is smothered in his Memphis Mudd BBQ Sauce.)

  • Harold's Loaded Fried Potatoes

A favorite on the breakfast menu, this is loaded with local peppers, local mushrooms and onions topped with vegan mushroom gravy or local sausage gravy and two eggs cooked to order. 

  • Hercules Plate

A second breakfast favorite that gives you a sample of Harold's fried potatoes, 2 strips of bacon and a sausage patty (from Bansley Farms), 2 eggs cooked to order along with some of their famous & fluffiest buttermilk pancakes. Definitely for those with an appetite, just like Hercules! 

  • Cauli-Chick Salad

This is Chef Coty’s version of a vegetarian style “chicken salad" and my goodness is it delicious. Instead of using chicken, it's a lovely combination of cauliflower and chickpeas in a blend of vegan mayo with herbs and other bright flavors! Word is that meat lovers even rave about this one!

"I can’t wait to serve you up your favorite ice-cream treat. We want you to take a break from the hustle and bustle, put down the screens and enjoy your time and meal listening to groovy beats while catching up with friends and family. It is our goal to make you feel a home and part of our family at Harold’s." -Josh

The Diner

Opening a business in a town with a rich tapestry of history is never without its challenges. Harold's faced the monumental task of stepping into the shoes of "Oscar's Cafe," a beloved local spot that had woven itself into the fabric of our community. Coty and Josh were aware that introducing a completely different concept required delicacy and innovation.

Oscar's Cafe had been a staple, a go-to place where locals and tourists alike found comfort. To reimagine and revitalize the space, Coty and Josh decided on a concept that, while radically different, retained a familiarity that resonated with the community. The 70s groovy vibes became the bridge between what was and what could be, offering a nostalgic nod to the past while inviting patrons into a new, comfortable place to be.

The vibrant exterior is painted in "outta sight" bright colors to beckon locals and visitors to step in and enjoy. Embracing the radically inclusive spirit of Eureka Springs, Coty and Josh envisioned Harold's as a place where EVERYONE may find a sense of belonging.

Their dream has come to life as they have now witnessed the youth making Harold's their after-school hangout, and adults rediscovering the joy of camaraderie in the diner's groovy embrace.

"We foresee the youth making this their “hangout spot” while the parents feel comfortable and confident they are in a safe and sober environment. We also envision the adults gathering here as it takes them back to their younger-years and gives them the opportunity to relax and unwind with us."

The ambiance at Harold's is a step back in time, with Josh's keen eye for 70s design and his vast collection of vinyl records the stage is set for a funky time. Coty’s mom Lynnette (born and raised in that decade) definitely helped with setting the tone by adding color, furniture and energy throughout the diner. Features like the 1970s Hamilton Beach Triple Milkshake Machine to the vinyl wrapped couch in the living room, you will find yourself stepping through a time vortex right back to 1977.

The goal is to be an experience for ALL.

I'm telling you, it is a warm and welcoming space that Florence Henderson herself would adore - and who doesn't love Florence Henderson?

The Community

Harold's is not merely a diner; it's NWA's first Philanthro-Diner. These gents have introduced a unique "meal token" program, allowing patrons to pay it forward.

Groovy Neighbors can donate a meal token, which is then distributed to those in need through local schools and community centers. This initiative embodies Grandpa Harold's spirit of giving, ensuring ALL an enjoyable dining experience.

"We are very youth focused with this program, but also understand others deserve to have a dining experience, too. This is why we leave it up to the donor if they prefer to pass out the meal token they donated themselves, or let us distribute them to our “Token Ambassadors”. This program is meant to provide more than just a meal. We want those who don’t always have the opportunity to be able to dine at Harold’s and enjoy the entire experience of dining out. Focusing on the youth helps us to give our community the future it deserves." - Coty

The Eco-System

In their vision, Coty and Josh were determined to make Harold's a beacon of sustainability. Every dish served, from the handmade biscuits to the signature "Outta Sight Smash Patty," bears the mark of a commitment to reduce the ecological footprint. The intentionally vegetarian-focused menu offers less meat. This is aimed not only to showcase the diversity of local produce but also to champion a more sustainable approach to dining.

Seasonal menu items, unveiled as "Harold's Blue Plate Specials," are a testament to the duo's dedication to utilizing fresh, local ingredients. These ever-changing specials offer patrons a taste of the season's bounty mirrored against the agricultural rhythm of the Ozarks.

Harold's has also embraced composting practices, collecting organic waste for local farmers and, soon, their own garden. The vision for a Harold's garden became the next milestone in the duo's journey, a green oasis where fresh produce could be harvested, further solidifying the diner's commitment to sustainability.

The meal token program, designed to provide more than just a meal, also seamlessly blends into the narrative of eco-consciousness. It isn't just about feeding those in need; it is about sowing the seeds of sustainability in our community.

Every meal token is a gesture of shared responsibility, a reminder that Harold's is a part of a larger ecosystem that needs care and nurturing.

"I’m humbled to have this opportunity to share Grandpa Harold’s cooking with everyone that desires a meal and I am always looking forward to providing you with an experience at our diner." - Coty

The Soda Fountain & Farmacy

Inside Harold's you'll also find "The Farmacy" where you can purchase local produce, meats and even US produced salt from Redmond real salt based in Redmond, UT! The Farmacy products vary from time to time and feature mugs, t-shirts, local homeopathic items, local sodas and offer a multitude of local holistic products. (The sodas used at the Soda Fountain are sourced from Rogers, AR from Natural State Beverage Company.) Soon The Farmacy will feature local produce, eggs, milk and meats as well as their own homemade ice cream by the pint.

The Commitment

Their commitment to sustainability and supporting local businesses is a rallying point in their story. There is no doubt that The Farmacy, with its local holistic products and shelves stocked with goodies, will evolve into a marketplace where locals get their eggs and milk each week and visitors take a piece of Harold's ethos home with them.

The prospect of a garden at Harold's adds a green dimension to the diner's sustainable journey and a promise of even fresher produce and a deeper connection with the community's agricultural roots.

Harold's stands as a symbol of continuity and community. This diner has beautifully etched itself into the ever-evolving story of Eureka Springs, bringing to town a chapter that celebrates sustainability, embraces philanthropy, connects community and revels in the timeless allure of delicious down home comfort food and making memories with others.

I love this place. Thank you, Grandpa Harold. Your legacy now lives on in the hearts of these fine, hard-working gentlemen, Coty and Josh, and in the hearts of all the groovy, freakin' Eurekans and those who choose to visit here.

The Hours

For now and through the 2023/2024 winter season hours are:

Friday through Monday

  • 9:00am - 11:00am Breakfast

  • 11:00am - 3:00pm Lunch 

Note: Harold's will be closed December 24, 2023 until the end of January 2024. Reopen date TBD.

Stay connected with Harold's Diner, Soda Fountain & Farmacy!

Local Tip: A Fondue Friday Event happens on December 22, 2023! Be sure to RSVP for this event.

C'mon all you cats and boogie on down to "Grandpa's house" for a far out, funky time and for some solid, savory "you're gonnna dig it" delights that'll have your tastebuds screamin' "mmmmm, cool beans, man. This place is groooooooovy."❤️


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