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story.lead_photo.caption McClard’s Bar-B-Q, in Hot Springs, shown in January, is being sold. Restaurateur Lee Beasley will become the new owner when the sale is finalized. McClard’s was founded in 1928. (The Sentinel-Record/Grace Brown)

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

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

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, is expected to reopen next week after closing March 20 because of the coronavirus 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, mcclards.com/mcclards-bbq-history.htm.

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

Metro on 05/29/2020

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