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John Beachboard and Scott McGehee are adding to their burgeoning mini-empire of restaurants in Central Arkansas. The pair behind ZaZa and Big Orange, will open a new concept, Local Lime, no later than Oct. 1 in The Promenade at Chenal. Beachboard and McGehee are equal partners in the new restaurant with Herren Hickingbotham — who's also a partner in Big Orange — and Ben Brainard, a chef who's worked with Beachboard and McGehee at Boulevard Bread Co. and at ZaZa for a number of years.
The working tagline for Local Lime is "tacos, tequila and margarita bar," according to Beachboard. The menu will be focused on dozens of taco options, Beachboard said, with plenty of meat and cheese options along with a number of options for vegetarians and vegans. Beachboard said a taco filled with potatoes and zucchini from a street vendor is the best taco he's ever eaten, and will find its way onto the menu.
The restaurant, to be located three doors down from Big Orange, near the Chenal 9 IMAX Theatre, is 3,200 square feet, which is slightly smaller than Big Orange, but a planned patio covered by a retractable ceiling and walls will allow Local Lime to seat 25 percent more diners than Big Orange.
Brainard will be the owner/operator managing Local Lime. "Having an owner operator on-site is about as valuable an asset as you can have in the restaurant business," said Beachboard. Expanding the restaurant group with longtime employees taking on leadership roles is Beachboard's vision for the future. He said he and his partners are actively looking for space elsewhere to continue expanding. Another Big Orange could be the next project.