Story Arkansas may not seem as if the area offers much in the way of connectivity. However the rural town with sparse cell phone signal is charmingly brought together in traditional fashion, by hardworking people who are about one another.
Much of that interaction takes place at Bluebell Cafe, where owner Lori Carley, treats everyone like family and goes out of her way to take care of her customers and community members.
Story resident and daily Bluebell patron, Karen Morrison, said when she is not at home, folks know to find her at the cafe, which is located at the corner at Arkansas Highway 27 and Arkansas Highway 298.
“This is home for us too,” Morrison said. “Lori goes out of her way to make others feel special and loved. She bends over backwards for us.
“There is nothing she wont do to help someone,” she continued. “When my dad was having health issues, she would bring meals and other things we needed, to our home, and sit and visit.”
Morrison the best thing about Blue Bell CAfe is Carley’s heart.
“You don’t get that type of service anywhere else, and thats because she really loves her customers and this community,” Morrison said. “We are really family.”
The cafe is near Lake Ouachita, the Womble Trail and the Ouachita National Recreation Trail.
To make sure her customers are taken care of Carley offers a variety of services to take care of residents and those passing through.
In addition to the cafe, Blue Bell acts as a one stop shop for goods, offering general store items and useful items for those enjoying outside activities.
She also offers a shuttle service and can be scheduled to bring items to trails heads for those wishing to extend their stay in nature.
Every Saturday night, tables are rearranged to make room for musicians to entertain.
“It’s a lot of fun to have the place full of good people and good music,” Carley said. “These folks are like family and I love seeing them smile, seeing them happy. So having jam sessions just seemed like another way we could all get to gather and enjoy each others company.”
The Bluebell Cafe & Country Store originally opened in the 1950’s and was purchased by Carley in 2009. Originally from Texas, Lori’s family vacationed in Arkansas, fell in love with the area, and ultimately decided to relocate.
Bluebell opens at 4:30 a.m. and serves food until the last customers has eaten supper.
Jam session are held Saturdays from 5 until 8 p.m.
“All kind of music is played, Country, Gospel and Bluegrass,” Carley said. “And it is open to anyone who wants to come, whether they play , want to sing or just enjoy listening to good music.”