Updated: Dickey's Barbecue To Expand in Arkansas, Add 5 Restaurants

Fast-casual restaurant chain Dickey's Barbecue of Dallas plans to open five new restaurants in Arkansas within the next two years.

Two of the restaurants should open this summer, according to spokeswoman Jami Zimmerman. The first with a lease is in Rogers, to open at 4024 W. Green Acres. Jared Thompson owns the franchise. The other restaurant, to open in Searcy, doesn't have a lease executed yet. Josh Hightower is opening the Searcy location.

Thompson is also lined up later to open restaurants in Bentonville and Fayetteville. John Hightower, father of Searcy franchisee Josh Hightower, plans to open a Dickey's in Little Rock. 

The company's existing Arkansas restaurants are at 105 S. Dixieland Road in Lowell and 1951 E. U.S. Highway 412 in Siloam Springs. Thompson also owns the Lowell franchise, which opened in 2009.

Terry and Marsha Tracy own the Siloam Springs restaurant that has been open since 2011.

Dickey's Barbecue restaurants feature free ice cream everyday for dine-in guests and free kids meals on Sundays.

"We feel like Arkansas is our neighbor and it's a natural fit for Dickey's," Zimmerman said. "This year, we'd like to see an explosion of barbecue in Arkansas."