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Arkansas food businesses prepare for 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

As Arkansas prepares to welcome thousands of visitors, officials are encouraging everyone, including grocery stores and restaurants, to plan ahead.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Now that the total solar eclipse is less than three weeks away, Arkansas is in the final stretch of preparations.

And as the state prepares to welcome thousands of visitors, officials encourage everyone to plan ahead for their daily errors.

Even local grocery stores and restaurants are getting ready for the big event.

“Are they in Russellville? Are they all over the state? Are they spread out in the path of totality? Are they concentrated here in Little Rock?” Hill Station Owner Daniel Bryant said.

Those are some of Bryant’s questions as Arkansas prepares for an influx of visitors ahead of the total solar eclipse on April 8.

Although some things remain unknown, he’s preparing to feed a lot more people at his restaurant. He also owns The Fountain, HAM Market, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Big Whiskey’s and Whole Hog in Little Rock.

“We’re bringing in extra food, of course,” Bryant said. “Number one, we’re getting more.”

One of his restaurants, Hill Station, is even adjusting its hours.

“We’ll stay open later on Sunday,” Bryant said. “Then on Monday, when we’re normally closed, we will open up right after the eclipse to be here for people looking for somewhere to go.”

Although he’s unsure what to expect, Bryant said he’s preparing like he would for a Razorback game weekend.

“We’re basically going to treat those days like extra weekend days,” Bryant said.

Restaurants aren’t the only places expecting more customers; so are grocery stores.

“Treat it like a snowstorm… go ahead… don’t wait until the day the snow hits to go buy your milk and your bread,” said Steve Goode, executive director of the Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association.

Goode said grocers are loading up.

“The hearty things that

“The hearty things that will not go out of date are charcoal, paper plates, paper napkins, cups,” Goode said. “A lot of those things we’ve also got with our vendors, the Coke and Pepsi vendors, the Frito Lay vendors of the world, making sure that they’ve got everything loaded in.”

Goode said grocers are trying to ensure they don’t run out of food or supplies, but shelves could become empty.

“If we run out, we’ll just know that we took good care of the customers we could,” Goode said.

That’s why he encouraged locals to get what they needed before the weekend of April 6.