Here are some of the things he likes to do in his home state of Arkansas.
He’s a self-admitted homebody who likes his mom’s cooking and his no-stoplight town. When he’s home and off the road, he’s home. But Moore does venture out on occasion.
Cowboys & Indians: Poyen is a small town, but there are a couple of good restaurants there, right?
Justin Moore: Well ...
C&I: Not so much?
Moore: Well, we don’t have a stoplight. It’s pretty much a school, two churches — you go to one or the other — and a post office. And the big thing we just got in town, which just blew everybody’s mind, was a Dollar General. We just couldn’t believe it.
But we do have a little restaurant called Small Town Cafe*. They do a home-cooked meal every day — like maybe roast beef or fried chicken or whatever and some vegetables. The food is really good there. I mean, it’s not any bigger than my tour bus. ... It’s been 30 different things throughout my life. And I mean the food is good, but we all just go, “Well, I wonder how long this one's going to last.” Because they never seem to last.
C&I: Where else?
Moore: The Whippet is good, too. It’s home cooking, fried catfish. But it’s actually in the town over from us ... Prattsville. It’s another little town of about 300 – 400 people.
C&I: What would you recommend in the bigger towns close to you?
Moore: So we're kind of set right in between Little Rock and Hot Springs. ... Hot Springs is kind of notable for the bathhouses and the actual hot springs. I’ve actually never even been to one. It’s one of those things when you grow up there, you don’t really think about it. But I know that people come from out of town and frequent those.
And then the other thing that Hot Springs is known for — which I have gone and done, and it’s a lot of fun — is the horse track, called Oaklawn**. ... It’s become one of the really big tracks and really notable tracks, which is ... good for the local economy. It probably does more for the city of Hot Springs than anything.
For more about Hot Springs Arkansas National Park, visit hotsprings.org.
*Note from C&I Editors: In fact, the Small Town Cafe lasted till January 31. The owners posted this on their Facebook page:
“We want to take a minute to thank everyone who has supported Small Town Cafe and Biggie’s! You may have noticed that our store is up for sale. We will officially be closing our doors on Friday, January 31st. … As most of you know we still have our restaurant in Glen Rose [Arkansas] and we need to take time to focus on that location for a while. We would appreciate prayers during this time of transition. We are truly grateful for all of your support. If you’re ever in the mood for some of our great food, we will still be at Biggie’s Glen Rose Cafe and of course we will offer catering to Poyen!”
**Note from C&I Editors: Formerly known as Oaklawn Park Race Track, the Hot Springs landmark has been in business in since 1904 and is being reinvented in 2020 as Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. An American thoroughbred racetrack and casino, it’s the home of the Racing Festival of the South.
Photography: Courtesy Cody Villalobos