Papa Mike’s lives on
A post on Facebook caused a stir around Bella Vista on Friday when a woman reported on the group Bella Vista Neighbors that Papa Mike’s, the restaurant in the Kingsdale Clubhouse, would close due to the POA refusing to renew a lease.
A dozen of Papa Mike’s loyal customers chimed in, praising his grilled cheese, catfish, prices and ambience. There was talk of a petition and questions about reaching the POA board members.
Eventually POA spokesman Sam Hendren posted a comment signed by General Manager Tom Judson: “Papa Mike has done a great job over the last 13 years. During this 13-year period, the average lease term has been approximately two years. The current lease was executed in 2016 and will expire at the end of 2018.
“Approximately six months before the current lease expires, Papa Mike and the POA will sit down to negotiate a new lease. No decision has been made regarding a future lease that has not yet been negotiated.”
The purported demise was news to Papa Mike himself — Mike Hudgins — who posted, “Mike from Papa Mike’s, let me have a few comments about this situation. First let me say that I am in my 13th year with Papa Mike’s and that I have always had I think a good relationship with the POA. When I signed the existing contract, I was absolutely told that there was no extension available. That clause was specifically removed from the lease. I’m glad to hear that there is a possible renewal available.
“I have been told by numerous people that I am retiring and that’s why Papa Mike’s is going away. Retirement is something that I personally have not talked about and I won’t for at least 10 years. Papa Mike’s will live on somewhere! It would be great to be in the current location. Thank you for your concerns. If the situation changes, I’ll be the first to let you know.
All together 111 comments were posted. A few people were asking for more information but many were clearly behind Papa Mike and angry at the POA.