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story.lead_photo.caption Brown's Country Store and Restaurant on Interstate 30 in Benton is closing after 47 years. (Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Owners Phillip and Cissy Brown are announcing their retirement and closing Brown’s Country Store and Restaurant, 18718 Interstate 30, Benton, after 47 years.

The business, which the Browns opened in 1973 in a former candy shop, incorporated the candy shop, a 100-foot buffet and a gift shop.

“We have enjoyed serving local patrons, friends, tourists and celebrities over these many years,” the Browns said in a news release.

“We have heard memorable stories from locals who have talked to people all over the world who have experienced Brown’s Southern hospitality and delicious food.”

The restaurant attracted visitors from 50 states and nine countries in its first year.

The release notes that the Browns’ daughter, April Brown Rye, took over the day-to-day operations after graduating from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville 23 years ago.

The gift shop will open briefly for final clearance once government social distancing standards are relaxed, the release said.

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