An Ozark Tradition

classic heritage × Est. 1970 × modern experience


Located just minutes from Downtown Bentonville but with a classic ozark atmosphere


Fred's Hickory Inn has been a Bentonville staple since 1970 when Fred first opened the doors. Offering an extensive menu hand crafted to provide a unique experience while staying true to Fred's vision over 45 years ago this ozark jewel is a must visit. 

Whether you're stopping by for a dinner of smoked meats and fine wines, or simply an after work cocktail and something sweet on our cabin front patio after a long day we've got what you're looking for. Freshly renovated atmosphere, slowly crafted entrees, experience driven service..



(479) 273-3303



1502 N Walton Blvd, Bentonville, AR 72712



M-W 11a - 9p
Th-Sa 11a – 10p
Su closed (private event only)


Happy Hour 4 - 7 pm Monday - Friday

happy hour 2-5 pm saturday




For many years Fred and Lou Gaye had a dream—to open their own restaurant.  Although they had never been in the restaurant business before, Fred’s profession as a petroleum engineer gave them the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the world and sample the cultures and food of many different nations.  These travels included residences in thirteen different countries which encouraged their love of entertaining and appreciation for well prepared meals.


In late 1969, they acquired two acres of hilltop land on Route 4, Highway 71, now Walton Boulevard.  This site was called Wildwood Camp, a youth church summer retreat.  Situated on the property were five buildings, a rock A-frame house (destroyed by fire in 1973), a shower building which is now the site of Fred’s custom designed smoke pit, a wood framed dormitory, a dining hall, and the historic log cabin.  Initially, remodeling allowed the dormitory to become the original “Fred’s Hickory Inn” with a seating capacity of 60 guests.


During the early 1970’s, several buildings were leased to various artists, sign painters and potters with the hope of creating a craft area.  This included the log cabin, which dates back from the 1890’s, which Lou used to house an extensive collection of antiques.  But...the restaurant’s popularity—spread only by word of mouth—grew to the point where expansion was necessary to accommodate the lines of waiting diners.  


Additional renovations and expansions over the years have enhanced the dining experience while preserving the original atmosphere including adding a very popular outdoor dining patio which frequently hosts live entertainment and utilizing the cozy log cabin as an after work destination for dining and drinks with family and friends.


The concept envisioned by Fred and Lou was to serve quality food with courteous and efficient service in a comfortable dining atmosphere.  It was an instant success.  After more than 40 years, the longest fine dining restaurant in Benton County, we continue this local dining tradition and are committed to the unparalleled spirit of hospitality established by our founders and friends, Fred & Lou Gaye.  We invite you to visit us for this dining experience and let us make every visit a memorable one.


John McFadden

The Man. The Myth. The legend. John McFadden. John has been with Fred's Hickory Inn since the 70's. He has held almost every position on in the kitchen from the dish washer to chief grill master. It's not uncommon for John to have forty steaks on the grill and cook each to the customer's specification. His talent behind the grill is, well, legendary. 



 Ask anyone what Fred’s Hickory Inn is known for and most will say their smoked meats.  A lot of this has to do with our custom built smoker and our chief pit master, Gregg Luker.  Gregg has been with Fred’s for more than fifteen years.  Gregg and his team start early and stay late to make sure all meats are smoked to perfection!



If you have dined at Freds in the last twenty years, then Sharon has most likely waited on you.  Sharon has never met a stranger and always makes guests feel right at home, no matter if it’s their first visit or their 100th.  Sharon, along with all our wait staff, strive to make the Fred’s experience something you will remember and keep you coming back for more.



Fred’s Hickory Inn has long been an essential part of the Bentonville experience.  While it always offers nostalgic charm for locals and fantastic food for all guests, Fred’s isn’t simply a restaurant.  It feels like a home that welcomes us back during each point of life with laughter, hugs, and the unmistakable smell of perfectly smoked barbecue.
A few tips if you’re dining at Fred’s Hickory Inn:
•      Always get the creamy parmesan dressing with your salad.
•      Order the chicken club for lunch. Dip it in honey mustard.
•      Try the ribs.  Fred’s offers a very unique, vinegar-based dipping sauce.
•      If you don’t end your meal with Fred’s famous cheesecake, you’re doing it all wrong! - Dana Sargent Schlagenhaft

Fred's Hickory Inn has been a part of my family's life since 1970. From weekly family dinners to special events it has always been a part of happy times in Bentonville! The food is consistently outstanding. Our favorites include Lou's spaghetti and meatballs, ribs, shrimp salad, and of course you cant find a better steak. - Galen, Debi and Alice Havner


Fred's Hickory Inn is first and foremost its people! From the very first joke we heard from Fred Gay to the "Hellos", "How are you", "Great to see you", refrains we hear from new and old friends every time we go. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and the famous smoked ribs you smell cooking when you arrive are delicious. There is just something special about Fred's. - Tom and Becky McCoy


Growing up in Bentonville, Fred's was THE option for fine dining. Ambiance and service is what set Fred's apart then and what sets Fred's apart now. Also, my bride from Rhode Island has embraced one of the finer points in Southern culture - good BBQ. When Lindsey and I have a date night; Fred's tops our list. - Michael and Lindsay Rateliff


I moved to Bentonville, Arkansas in 1983 and was quickly introduced to Fred's Hickory Inn by people I worked with who had been eating there for many years! Now I average 3 meals a week at Fred's! You can never go wrong with a Fred's steak and salad with creamy parmesan dressing, but always start with a rack of ribs or stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer! Save some room for the selection of homemade desserts such as peach or blackberry cobbler, Fred's famous cheesecake, or one of the many chocolate dessert selections. Treat your family, friends or business associates to the best. Go to Fred's Hickory Inn! - Mel Redman


Fred's Hickory Inn is our favorite place to eat. The old fashioned smoke-house is another reason we frequent Fred's Hickory Inn. Today, it is a rare treat to experience high quality meats that are smoked the old-fashioned way, just like they did many years ago. Fred's Hickory Inn's specialty is "Smoked Sirloin". It is a one-of-a-kind treat; tender and flavorful each and every time. We are hardly out of the driveway before we are planning our next dining experience at Fred's Hickory Inn. - Darren and Karen Horton


Call (479) 273-3303 for reservations.
Reservations recommended for parties of 6 or more.

Private parties available upon request. Please call for more information.


Fred's Hickory Inn's executive team :

General Manager : Greg Cockrum // Executive Chef : // Catering + Party Specialist