Arkansas Business reports that in late June, Patsy Brewer applied for a private club license with the Arkansas Liquor Control Division for the North Little Rock address 18715 Macarthur Drive, just outside Maumelle. Patsy Brewer is also known as Patsy Gayle, one half of the couple who ran the beloved Jimmy Doyle Country Club just off Interstate 40, and the Laurel to husband Jimmy Doyle Brewer Hardy in comedic contexts (see: their giggling exchange on the catwalk at this year’s Arkansas Country Music Awards).
From Will Stephenson’s 2014 stellar profile on the roadside honky tonk:
They met in 1974, when Patsy’s mother, then in hospital, saw him on TV and insisted that her budding singer daughter seek him out. “You have to go out and see this guy,” she told him. “He’s a weirdo.” She found him performing at the Red Gate Supper Club and ended up singing with him on stage that night. “We met and that was it,” Patsy told me. “We never really broke up after that.”
“We don’t know which way to go,” Patsy said, pointing to the bar. “We thought about giving it a facelift. Make it something that the younger ones might like. Jimmy Doyle started playing the violin, slowly at first then furiously shredded. It was a kind of improvised concerto, beautiful and striking. “But then people tell us not to change places,” she continued, a little louder to be heard above her husband. “So you don’t know what to do.”
She watched the scene idly and remembered an old routine Jimmy Doyle used to do with a friend, something they called “Chester the Chicken”, where a giant chicken puppet was dancing around the crowd as they spoke for him. There were also other memories, like the time Alan Jackson played there before anyone knew who he was. Or the time Ray Price’s bus broke down in the parking lot, and his whole group came in and spent the night. She’s gone through a whole list of old friends, forgotten Grand Ole Opry stars, veterans of the Arkansas River Bottom Band (which she says number in the hundreds). “We talk about them like they’re there,” she laughed, “like they’re still here with us.”
It wasn’t like the honky tonk hadn’t given us fair warning. When the venue closed in November 2021, the club’s Facebook page said: “It’s not the end of anything. It’s a new beginning for The Doyle’s, to continue their work in all things country music in Arkansas! Just watch and see.