Cotham's restaurants have a long and distinguished history in Arkansas. The original location, Cotham's Mercantile, was built in 1917. It has served as a general mercantile store in the Scott area for area farmers and plantation owners since it's beginning. It has also served as a military commissary and lockup for local law violators awaiting trial by a circuit-riding judge.
In 1984, a small eating area was opened to serve lunch to area farmers. Soon discovered by prominent politicians, notably Bill Clinton and David Pryor, the restaurant suddenly became the place to eat and greet for distinguished Arkansans from all walks of life. A new location opened in October of 1999 on the corner of 3rd and Victory. Cotham's has now become an institution in Arkansas, whose reputation for outstanding food has gained national recognition.