Cotham’s Mercantile – Scott, AR

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You have to love a place that has a dog-eared copy of Hamburger America sitting right by the cash register….

Working our way from Little Rock to Oxford, I had two or three stops planned – the first being Cotham’s Mercantile, in Scott.   In the first version of the Hamburger America book that I bought, Scott’s was the only location listed in Arkansas. As there always is with a “list”, there was low hanging fruit – items that you can check off easily.  I wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to check this burger off my list. This trip provided that.  

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Cotham’s was a true mercantile shop – the general store – in Scott, starting in 1931.  They began serving lunch and, as chain grocery and department stores changed the landscape for general stores all over the country, the food service eclipsed the retail business. 


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We took a seat at a table near the rear.  As you can see, from the photo above, the place was packed.  If you look closely, you’ll see a table of USAF Airmen right near the door.  A conversation with these American heroes ended up being one of the highlights of the trip, but that’s another story for another blog. 

Cotham’s is most well known for the “Hubcap” burger – a 17 ounce patty of griddled fresh ground beef on a giant bun, which was our goal.  

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We ordered one, with fries, to share.  What you can’t tell, from this picture, is the size of this burger.  This thing was as wide as a dollar bill is long.  And, based on the thousands of these that they’ve cooked over the years, it was uniformly cooked.  It was simply seasoned and the melted American cheese had the correct amount of gooiness.  Half of this burger was a whole meal.    I’m not saying you should drive there from Atlanta, Nashville or west Texas, but if you’re in Little Rock, you should make the drive down to Scott.  And if you are there and choose not to do that, there is a Cotham’s in the City, in Little Rock.  

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2 comments

  1. Stopped here back in the early 90s. Some of the members from the FAA FSDO learned I loved burgers and offwe went from Little Rock. The place was like a museum and am glad you took some pictures. I mused if they caught their fish right off the back deck. Of course they were having sport at my expense as I wasn’t quite ready for a 17oz burger but then they ordered me the Mississippi Mud Pie that filled the plate. Don’t know if it’s still there but worth a stop. Brings back a lot of good memories on my visit to FSDO & Little Rock. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for your service.

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