Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Juanita's owners promise bigger, better concerts

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 6:38 PM

PATIO WITH PROMISE: New Juanita's owner plan to liven up space. (File photo) - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • PATIO WITH PROMISE: New Juanita's owner plan to liven up space. (File photo)

Juanita’s, the venerable Tex-Mex restaurant and live music venue, has new owners. Four years after they purchased the restaurant and club, Joe Cates and Jim O’Brien have sold it to Erin Hurley, Trey Jordan, Reed Lewallen, Bill Puckett and James Snyder. The new group takes ownership Aug. 1. Upgrading the type of concerts the club hosts is one of the new group’s top priorities, according to Lewallen.

Hurley has worked for and with Juanita’s for years, first as on-staff talent buyer, later on contract with his booking business Green Grass entertainment and, more recently, managing the bar; he’ll continue to oversee the bar under new management. Snyder began working with Juanita’s as director of business development for Green Grass in 2007 before becoming general manager and talent buyer for Juanita’s in 2010; he’ll continue in both roles. Jordan worked until recently as manager, business development for American Express. Lewallen works remotely for payment processor Heartland Payment Systems. Puckett, a CPA, is senior auditor at Thomas & Thomas.

Earlier this year, Jordan, Lewallen, Puckett and Snyder formed a booking company, 5zero1 Promotions. They produced the Great Arkansas Beer Fest at the Little Rock Metroplex and brought Eddie Money and Third Eye Blind to Juanita’s. The restaurant and bar took in the third highest gross in its 28-year history on the day of the Third Eye Blind show, according to Lewallen.

Expect more shows of the caliber of Third Eye Blind, Lewallen said. In recent years, most Little Rock clubs have shied away from booking mid-sized acts that require a ticket price of more than $20 for the club to cover the artists’ guarantee. Under this new regime, Juanita’s plans to buck that trend. While still mixing in local music and up-and-coming national talent with tickets in the $10-and-under range, the club has a number of shows on the horizon featuring bigger names in a variety of genres — T-Pain, The Toadies, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, members of Celtic Thunder — and ticket prices that start at $20 or $25 and climb (stage access meet-and-greet tickets for T-Pain go for $250).

Otherwise, don’t expect major changes, according to Lewallen. A streamlined menu will debut Aug. 1. More craft beer will appear on tap. Gradually, the new group will tweak the decor in the restaurant downstairs, make small aesthetic changes upstairs and try to enliven the patio area. Lewallen hopes to have an outdoor TV screen for watching football on the patio in the fall.

The new group are the third owners in six years. In 2008, Johnny and Alicia Weaver bought the restaurant and bar from Lisa McNeir, who'd inherited it when her husband and one of Juanita's co-founders, Frank McGehee, died in 2005. The Weavers sold to Cates and O'Neill in 2010. After relocating from South Main Street to the River Market in 2011, Cates and O’Brien unsuccessfully applied for a private club permit that would have allowed them to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. In 2012, Cates offered in the for-sale category of Craigslist “World Famous Restaurant & Bar - $250,000,” saying the grind of running it had become too much of a grind for him and O’Brien.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Live Review: Luke Bryan at Verizon Arena

    March 14, 2016
    Like the girl in his ode to a short-lived summer love, country music’s reigning Entertainer of the Year had a crowd of 13,312 Friday evening at Verizon Arena twisting all night long like that old beach “Roller Coaster": Twisting and swaying and dancing and singing along. /more/
  • Little Rock web series 'The Deck' features Country Florist

    February 2, 2016
    "The Deck" is a new web series created by Lenny Bryan and hosted by Kara Bibb and Jeff Matika, dedicated to highlighting local songwriters and their creative process. /more/
  • Paul Ryan's Snowmageddon

    January 25, 2016
    Chill out. /more/
  • Wakarusa announces it will 'take 2016 off'

    December 17, 2015
    An email from the folks at Wakarusa, the annual music festival at Mulberry Mountain, claims they'll be taking 2016 off due to financial problems. The letter makes reference to pending legal actions against "partners" who "lied" to festival management. So far, they're calling it a "hiatus" rather than a complete shut-down, so there's some good news. /more/
  • Bonnie Montgomery nominated for Ameripolitan Awards

    December 15, 2015
    Searcy native Bonnie Montgomery has been nominated for Outlaw Female in the 2016 Ameripolitan Awards, an Austin, Texas-based award show that honors musicians whose work doesn’t match with today’s notions of country music. The awards ceremony will be held in Austin on Feb. 16, 2016. /more/
  • Juanita's hangs up sombrero

    December 11, 2015
    Juanita’s Cafe and Bar at 615 President Clinton Ave. is saying adios on Dec. 20, general manager James Snyder has announced. He said he thought he should give the 30-year-old restaurant the “respect it deserves” by not abruptly shutting down but staying open through all its music bookings and to let people have a final meal. /more/
  • National Endowment for the Arts honors Pharoah Sanders

    October 23, 2015
    North Little Rock native and free jazz legend Pharoah Sanders has been named as one of the recipients of a 2016 Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, along with vibraphonist Gary Burton, saxophonist Archie Shepp and Wendy Oxenhorn, director of the Jazz Foundation of America. Sanders, who turned 75 last week, will receive "a $25,000 cash award and perform a free concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on April 4 that will be streamed live on arts.gov." /more/
  • Live Review: The Polyphonic Spree at Stickyz

    October 23, 2015
    This fall The Polyphonic Spree is celebrating the 15th anniversary of their debut, "The Beginning Stages of ...", with a tour of Europe and North America. The Dallas, Texas band formed in July 2000, born from the sparkling mind of lead vocalist Tim DeLaughter. Tim and his band — a group of about 20 musicians — are currently on tour and performing their entire debut along with other originals and a few surprises. Returning from their stint in Europe, they came through Little Rock with a blazing performance at Stickyz Tuesday night., /more/
  • Watch a new Amasa Hines session on Audiotree Live

    October 22, 2015
    Here's Little Rock's Amasa Hines playing at the Chicago-based concert series Audiotree Live, one of the best recordings yet of the band's always-gripping live show. You can also purchase a four-song EP of the session. Watch it for the new songs, and for the shout outs to locals Big Piph, Osyrus Bolly and Bonnie Montgomery. /more/
  • R.I.P. Darnelle Barnes

    September 29, 2015
    Darnelle Barnes, a Little Rock native well known as a member of the local rap group DMP, died earlier this morning in a car accident near his home, friends say. DMP's Khaliq Slater said that Barnes lived in the Emerald Mountain neighborhood with his mother, and was driving up a hill around the corner from his house when the accident occurred. He was 18 years old. /more/
  • More »

Related Locations

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

More by Lindsey Millar

  • Paul McCartney plays Verizon

    Also, 'Incognito' in Conway, Arts and the Park in Hot Springs, "Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning" at the Arkansas Arts Center, Patti Lupone at the Fort Smith Convention Center, the Turkish Food Festival, Sunday Court Square Music Festival in Mountain View, St. Luke's Festival of the Senses at St. Luke's Episcopal and the 46th Annual World Famous Armadillo Festival in Hamburg.
    • Apr 27, 2016
  • Out in Arkansas still on, but with new leadership

    Bryan Borland, who we announced as editor of our forthcoming LGBTQ pub, Out in Arkansas, has decided not to take the position.
    • Apr 23, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The TC Edwards memorial roundup

    TC Edwards had hundreds of friends. If you were among them or even somewhere on the periphery, your Facebook feed has been dominated this week by tributes and photos and news of benefit concerts. Here's an attempt at a roundup of everything that's out there, with a focus on all the things you can do or attend.
    • Dec 12, 2014
  • R.I.P. Miller Williams (1930-2015)

    The year is off to a rough start with the news that Miller Williams, renowned poet and former Arkansas Times contributing writer, died yesterday in a Fayetteville hospital. He was 84 and had been struggling with Alzheimer's for several years.
    • Jan 2, 2015
  • Review: 'Memphis' at The Rep

    You can’t help but feel the heat of summertime Memphis in 1958 as the forbidden love story of white radio DJ Huey Calhoun (Brent DiRoma) and black club singer Felicia Farrell (Jasmin Richardson) unfolds before you on the stage of the Arkansas Repertory Theater. It’s one of the hottest, loudest musicals I’ve ever seen at The Rep, and perhaps the most uplifting since “Les Mis” came to Main Street in 2008.
    • Sep 22, 2014

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Finalists named in UALR chancellor search

    The University of Arkansas System has announced the three finalists in the search for a successor to Joel Anderson as chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
  • Standing up for the LRSD

    Kurrus may be out as superintendent, but fight for the district continues.
  • The top 20: Segregation of the affluent

    Thomas Edsall writes about the segregation — by education, geography and other markers — of the people in the top fifth of the income scale in the U.S. He quotes from a recent academic research paper:
  • 2016 All-Star nominees

    Here are the students nominated to be Academic All-Stars. They are listed by their hometowns, as indicated by mailing addresses.
  • Low tactics every day: Walmart education

    State Education Commissioner Johnny Key fired Baker Kurrus as Little Rock superintendent last week because he ventured off the reservation when he presented data to the state Board of Education on the damaging impact of charter schools on the district, which the state now runs. Kurrus was questioning proposed expansions of two charter schools already draining easier-to-educate children from the LRSD.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation