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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON -- McClard's Bar-B-Q in Hot Springs is shown in this 2005 file photo.

Hot Springs landmark McClard’s Bar-B-Q is changing ownership.

Restaurateur Lee Beasley will be the new owner once Beasley Properties finalizes the purchase, Bobby Dennis, a spokesman for Beasley’s business interests, confirmed Thursday. Beasley owns Bone’s Chophouse in Hot Springs and Little Rock, as well as J&S Italian Villa and the Copper Penny Irish pub, both in Hot Springs.

Dennis said members of the McClard family will continue to be involved “going forward with Beasley in this venture.”

The restaurant at 505 Albert Pike Road is expected to reopen next week after closing March 20 in the wake of the covid-19 crisis. Management posted that day on the restaurant Facebook page, “After careful consideration of our staff and the community, we’ve decided to close our doors indefinitely to best protect the city we love. We will be monitoring the current situation closely and will provide updates when they’re available.”

Gladys and Alex McClard founded the restaurant in 1928. Owners Scott McClard and his wife, Shannon McClard, represent the fourth generation in the family business, according to the restaurant’s website.

Over the years, the restaurant achieved a reputation for its barbecue pork, ribs, tamales and barbecue sauce. It is also known for the lines of customers who regularly wait outside to enter the small building, and for the patronage of former President Bill Clinton, who spent his high school years in Hot Springs.

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