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Hot Springs Village Xplore Owner Shares Exciting Restaurant News

Edited on 1-10-22. Since I originally wrote this article, there have been many restaurant changes in the past week or so. I have crossed out the now incorrect information in this article and added corrections. Here is a link where Greg Jones explains what happened with the Xplore restaurants. Here is a link where Danny Goynes explains what happened with Kroc-Coo’s. Here is a link to the latest information from the POA on the golf course restaurants. I apologize for the confusion. Below is the original article with strikethroughs and new information in purple.

Villagers, you asked for it and you got it! Change is in the air! For quite a while now, Villagers have been requesting more upscale, club-style dining in the Village. Greg Jones, the owner of the Xplore restaurant chain in Hot Springs Village, is answering this call for expanded service. There is good news and bad news. But the bad news is only temporary and leads to the good news.

First, the Bad News

Xplore Lakeside is temporarily closed as of Christmas Eve at 2 p.m. and will not be reopening until, tentatively, mid-January. This is a necessary step in order to achieve Jones’ vision. While the restaurant will be missed during this time period, there are other exciting new developments on the horizon, so put on your reading glasses, if necessary, and get ready to hear some good news. Mr. Jones thanks you in advance for your patience during this time of change.

Now for the Good News

During this short hiatus, Xplore staff is working diligently on the development of an all-new, more upscale menu. This new deluxe fare will include more steak and seafood choices and chops, along with other new delicious menu items, guaranteed to please the discerning diner’s palate. More details of this new menu will be coming out shortly.

The Lakeside facility is also undergoing a bit of repair work and refurbishment. Jones is using this time period to make needed updates on the Lakeside facility. Some of these updates and revamps include repairs of kitchen exhausts, flooring, fencing, and docks. Additionally, they are shoring up the rip rap along the lakeside and making refinements in the landscaping. Restauranteur Jones envisions a total more upscale dining experience.

As if this news wasn’t enough, there are even more exciting announcements for Xplore restaurants.

Xplore DeSoto Update

Jones stated, “In the meantime, we will reopen the Xplore DeSoto Club for Sunday brunch and weeknight dinners soon. (More details are listed below.) We will be moving our All-You-Can-Eat Catfish and Fried Chicken night to DeSoto from Lakeside. Look for a new DeSoto menu possibly published as soon as this week.”

Jazz Concert Series Moving from Beehive to Xplore DeSoto

Update: The Xplore Concert Series will remain at the Beehive. There will be a limited selection of new menu items.

Starting with brunch on Sunday, January 16th we will be having a ‘Come Have Brunch, Stay for Jazz’ event once a month in conjunction with the Hot Springs Jazz Society to allow us to expand our Sunday Jazz series.” It’s been hugely successful,” Jones said. Previously this concert series was held at the Beehive Neighborhood Hangout.

Jones shared, “The Van Houten/La Madrid Ensemble will perform at the Xplore Jazz concert on Sunday, January 16th At Xplore DeSoto the Beehive Neighborhood Hangout in Hot Springs Village. Come at 1:00 p.m. if you would like to have a lovely brunch meal before the concert at 2:00 p.m. $10 cash cover charge. Jon Edward Van Houten on sax, flute, guitar, and vocals. Kristen La Madrid on keyboard and vocals. Taylor Smith on bass and vocals. Brandon Brockinton is on drums. World Class Jazz right here in the Village.”

End of 2021 and Beginning 2022 Operating Hours & Other Updates for Xplore

Below are operating hours for the Xplore chain for the next couple of weeks (including Kroc-Coo’s):


Artfully Baked and Brewed – Closed New Years Day.
Beehive Neighborhood Hangout –  Closed New Year’s Eve, New Years Day. Look for some new fresh menu items in early January.
Xplore Lakeside – Closed Christmas Eve at 2 p.m. through mid-January. Look for more exciting news about new menu items and new hours at Lakeside in 2022.
Xplore DeSoto – New Year’s Eve party is sold out and taking waiting list only reservations at this time. Call (501) 915-0007 to be placed on the waiting list. Closed New Years Day and Sunday, January 2, but will be open for lunch on Monday, January 3. Also, beginning Sunday, January 9th DeSoto will offer a new brunch buffet. On Monday, January 10th Xplore DeSoto will be serving dinner. Look for new menu offerings soon.

DeSoto Club will be closed for the remainder of January. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase in the DeSoto golf shop. All events scheduled at DeSoto through January will continue as planned. If you have scheduled any events at DeSoto for February 1 or later, contact Greg Jones.

Xplore Isabella – Closed December 20th, reopening January 5th.

Isabella is closed through January 13 and will reopen under POA management on Friday, January 14. They will offer a limited menu as they explore opportunities for new vendors to operate this location.

Blue Elephant – Closed New Year’s Eve, New Years Day. Serving brunch on Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kroc-Coos West Gate – Open Thursday, December 30 and Friday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve) from noon until 8:00 p.m. Closed Saturday, December 31 through Monday, January 3. Reopen Tuesday, January 4 at noon and will resume regular operating hours Tuesday through Saturday from noon till 8:00 p.m.

Kroc-Coo’s Kitchen at the West Gate is closed.


Kroc-Coos Food Truck at 420 Eats – The food trailer at 420 Eats has closed.

Kroc-Coo’s Cajun food truck at 420 Eats is open 11-2 and 4-8 Tuesday – Saturday and soon they will be open every day except on Sunday.

Xplore Newsletter

In an effort to keep Villagers informed about Xplore restaurants, Jones has a weekly newsletter which details changes and events. To sign up for this newsletter, send an email to [email protected] with the word “subscribe” in the subject line. Mr. Jones wishes everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

By Cheryl Dowden, December 30, 2021

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