Day by day, it seems like something new is hitting the streets in Pine Bluff.
According to the group Go Forward Pine Bluff, there have been more investments on Main Street over the last two years than over the past two decades.
It has been a big summer in Pine Bluff. First there was the aquatic center opening, followed by the groundbreaking of the Saracen Casino, and now a new restaurant on Main Street is in the works.
Ryan Watley, CEO of Go Forward Pine Bluff, said this restaurant is just one of the many investments putting Pine Bluff back on the map.
"We are a city on the rise," he said.
Tucked away in southeastern Arkansas, Pine Bluff's downtown streets have been vacant for years; empty buildings and locked up stores showing no sign of business.
"There hasn't been any significant investment in this area for awhile," Watley said.
Until now. He said the GoForward Pine Bluff initiative, implemented in 2017 to revitalize the city, is catching investor's eyes.
"Now you look through and you're seeing business open and buildings being renovated," Watley said.
This nonprofit organization made up of a three person staff and two volunteers has 75% of their 26 initiatives either in the process, on-going, or complete.
He said they have a big responsibility, but things are already starting to turn around.
"This is what the citizens have been craving for. This is why they passed the tax to hear about more developers like this," Watley said.
Two years ago, cars couldn't even drive down Main Street in downtown Pine Bluff, but with everything new coming its way, the best is yet to come.
"We are just going to fill it up with restaurants, bars, specialty shops, clothing stores and it's just going to be a beautiful thing," said Wil Jenkins, who owns the building that holds his wife's salon and boutique located on S Main Street.
An entrepreneur himself, he said the new restaurant will keep moving Pine Bluff in the right direction.
"It's a positive thing because this is going to let people know that we've got this nice, classy restaurant coming down. It's the first domino, so to speak," Jenkins said.
He said it is starting the motion of their plan to become the #1 destination in southeast Arkansas.
"Our goal is to become the jewel of the city that we once were and I believe we are on the right track," Jenkins said.
Watley said he can't give out anymore information about the restaurant specifically, but along with businesses coming to downtown, there will be a total makeover to the streets, sidewalks, and landscapes in that area.