Craving a burger? Of course you are.
Thirsty for a beer? Obvs.
Got a pile of laundry to do? Who doesn’t?
At Sit & Spin in Fayetteville, you can take care of all three. Located on Leverett Avenue, the new combination restaurant and laundromat is poised to become a neighborhood go-to. The eco-friendly washateria on the north side of the building is owned by A.B. Merritt, whose father spent years owning launderettes. When A.B. was looking for a restaurant to go in to the other side of the building (once a Pizza Hut location), she approached her friends, longtime restaurateurs Hannah Withers and Ben Gitchel, to explore what type of eatery would pair nicely with clothes and linens.
You might not know Hannah and Ben personally, but if you have spent much time in Fayetteville, you probably know their work. They opened Little Bread Company (which they sold to their staff in 2014) and, a few years ago, revamped the iconic Maxine’s Tap Room.
Married for 17 years, Ben and Hannah are expats of Eureka Springs, where they opened their first Little Bread Company location in 2001. Since moving the Fayetteville, they have fallen in love with the university town and its people. “There’s something about Fayetteville that just fit,” says Hannah. She waxes about the open-mindedness of the residents and their willingness to try new things, and praises Fayetteville’s “engaged, independent retail culture.”
“There’s a bit of a Star’s Hollow feel to it,” she says, referencing the setting of Gilmore Girls.
Sit & Spin’s menu boasts sliders, salads, and donuts. The Boss Burger is a patty grilled with onions, and topped with provolone, bacon, and tangy raspberry peach sauce. Not only is it flavorful, it is also affordable, ringing up at under $4.
Let’s be honest, if you come into Sit & Spin for dinner, you’ll probably end up spending more than $4. If you get a burger, you’ll also want fries ($2), which are delish. And you have got to try the donuts, at least one order, priced at $3 for four mini gourmet donuts. Did I mention they serve beer and mini cans of Sofia sparkling? You can see how this could get out of hand.
General manager Richard Bell says the goal of the restaurant was to be simple and accessible, with food ready within minutes (and it was!). Both Richard and Ben are passionate food nerds (Richard gave me a brief history of the New Jersey slider), but the food is not too precious, or over-intellectualized. The restaurant uses local ingredients where possible, with mushrooms sourced from local growers, and the jelly for the donuts from House of Webster. The house pickles are Ben’s recipe and are to die for, even if you don’t consider yourself a pickle person.
As Sit & Spin evolves, Richard sees it branching into breakfast, and Hannah mentions a patio where folks can bring dogs and hang out. While I spoke to each of them separately, both used the phrase “neighborhood spot” to describe how they see the restaurant anchoring what otherwise might be an ever-expanding hodgepodge of apartment buildings.
That’s the refreshing thing about Sit & Spin – while hip and trendy, it is not “too cool for school.” It would be great for an evening out (some real food before a night on Dickson, perhaps), but I also think my parents, both in their 70s, would like it. And my three-year-old son gave the cinnamon sugar donuts two very sticky thumbs up. Luckily there was plenty of soap to be found in close proximity.
Find Sit & Spin on Insta: @sitspinfayetteville