At today’s start of the business at the Longhorn Steakhouse in Fort Smith, Manager Anita Kelley and Managing Partner, Robert Balestrino received a plaque for placement in their restaurant that denotes Fort Smith as the “Top True Western Town” in America for 2013.
According to Baridi Nkokheli, who interprets U. S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, the managing staff at Longhorn Steakhouse did not know that Fort Smith had received this award from True West Magazine, one of the largest and most respected national publications for western themed magazines in the U.S.
Fort Smith competed against Dodge City, Kansas, Durango, Colorado and many other cities. Since the city was the winner of the national “Top True Western Town” in America, and Longhorn Steakhouse has a western theme, Baridi thought the Fort Smith designation would be fitting for this western themed restaurant.
Anita Kelly’s Managing Partner, Robert Balestrino, and his family were recently transferred to this Fort Smith restaurant. Robert is very enthusiastic about living in Fort Smith and the respect we pay to our frontier heritage. When Anita told him about this opportunity for the plaque, he gave approval for the placement because it was a great fit for their western decor and a way for the restaurant to support tourism in Fort Smith.
After hearing the story of the award for Fort Smith, Anita and Robert agreed that they wanted a banner in the restaurant to promote this achievement. The 24″ X 24″ plaque was presented today by Baridi Nkokheli, as “US Deputy Marshall Bass Reeves, and Carolyn Joyce as Miss Laura, the turn of the century proprietor of Miss Laura’s Social Club, to the management of the Longhorn Steakhouse.
We’ll return and post a photo of the “Top True Western Town” 2013 banner once it is on display at the Steakhouse, located at 3805 Phoenix Avenue!