Representatives from Colton’s Steakhouse, a restaurant chain known for its seared meats and western atmosphere, recently visited White Hall to scout out possible locations, city officials have said.

The restaurant chain is gauging interest in a possible franchise in the White Hall community.

Those who would like to see the restaurant locate in town are asked to leave feedback at the company’s website: www.coltonssteakhouse.com/contact.php

News of the possible new restaurant spread quickly throughout the community this week.

“I think it’s exciting,” said Sam Cobb, who lives in Redfield. “We need more restaurants around here, and this one would be great.”

Sheila Strand of White Hall agreed.

“With all the growth White Hall has seen over the past few years, this would fit in really well,” she said. “We are becoming a real city now.”

If opened, the restaurant would become one of many new businesses to pop up in White Hall over the past several years, including Holiday Inn Express, Dairy Queen and other professional buildings that have been newly-constructed.

In 1996, a group of entrepreneurs and restaurateurs put together their combined total of more than 60 years of successful restaurant and real estate experience to develop a concept that later became Colton's Steak House & Grill, according to the company’s website.

Their vision was to open a steak house anyone could walk into and feel at home, have fun, relax, eat delicious food, and enjoy excellent service in an atmosphere with the feel of the "American West."

Once the concept was completed, they formed what would eventually become Colton's Restaurant Group Inc. (CRG), the franchisor of the concept. In August 1996, the first location opened its doors in Conway, Arkansas.

It wasn't long before the second restaurant opened in Searcy. As the sixth Colton's opened, a new corporate operating partner came on the scene: Hand Cut Steaks, Inc. (HCS). During HCS's primary expansion period, the President, CEO and cofounder of CRG was President, CEO and cofounder of HCS. HCS currently operates seven of the 37 Colton's.

Today, all CSHG restaurants operate as franchises, with locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The current owners of CRG also own an interest in more than half of the Colton's now in operation.