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The Old South Restaurant, originally established at 1330 East Main St., Russellville, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 15, 1999 announced by Cathy Slater, state historic preservation officer, of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

William E. Stell, owner of the National Glass and Manufacturing Company of Fort Smith, built the Old South Restaurant in 1947 for Russellville businessman Woody Mays.  It sported a streamlined Art Modern-style design, which was integral to Stell's modular diner design.

"When it was constructed, the Old South Restaurant was located in an undeveloped stretch of Arkansas Highway 64, at that time the main travel route from Tennessee to Oklahoma," the National Register nomination says.  The diner quickly became an oasis for hungry and weary travelers, providing good food and a place to relax 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In June, 2023 the iconic building on West Main Street burned to the ground taking with it years of memories and experiences lost in the rubble alongside the round windows, metal skin, neon lights, aluminum fixtures and padded booths that typified its Art Modern design.  With the encouragement and support of the local community, the Old South was re-established across town after renovating an already existing restaurant at 105 East Harrell Drive.  The original sign from the old location was moved and attached to the front of the new building connecting the past to the present.  While the building is different, the menu still offers many of the same items that were originally served, including the famous cream soups and salad dressing developed by R. C. Sturb for the prototype Old South Restaurant in Fort Smith.