At last, LR gets Mexican restaurant | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

At last, LR gets Mexican restaurant

Posted By on Tue, Feb 5, 2008 at 1:38 PM

The Texas-based Cantina Laredo restaurant chain -- "gourmet Mexican" is the niche -- will be opening a store in the Midtowne shopping center on University Avenue.


LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (February 5, 2008) ­ Developer Jim Strode announced today that the Texas-based Cantina Laredo will join Midtowne Little Rock¹s line-up later this year.  The gourmet Mexican dining restaurant is set to open in Summer 2008.
 ³We have maintained the highest standards in selecting tenants for Midtowne Little Rock,² said Jim Strode, owner of the Dallas-based Strode Property Company and developer of Midtowne Little Rock.  ³Cantina Laredo will enhance the diverse mix of upscale shopping and dining options already available to our customers at the center.²
Each Cantina Laredo restaurant offers a distinctive menu of gourmet Mexican dishes, freshly prepared both in the kitchen and at tableside.  Signature dishes include a mixed grill (quail, ribs, fajita steak and chicken, shrimp and roast pork), aged rib-eye steaks, fresh sea bass, chicken breast stuffed with shrimp, and chile relleno.  Each restaurant also offers a full-service bar, specializing in margaritas made from freshly squeezed lime juice with an assortment of premium tequilas, served in Mexican martini-style, hand-blown glasses.
Originated in 1984, Cantina Laredo is the premier brand in the gourmet Mexican dining market.  Since 2002, Cantina Laredo has grown from two restaurants in Dallas to 23 restaurants in six U.S. states and one restaurant in Cairo, Egypt. Cantina Laredo is now the largest gourmet Mexican restaurant concept in the United States.
Midtowne Little Rock is an upscale open-air lifestyle shopping center in Little Rock.  Cantina Laredo will join major national retailers Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma, Ann Taylor LOFT and the Container Store, which opens March 8.  Starbucks and Pei-Wei are also well-known national tenants at the center.  Since opening its doors in October 2006, the shopping center has also added Arkansas-owned Evolve and Lewis & Clark Outfitters.
³We are excited about being a part of Midtowne Little Rock,² said John D. Harkey, Jr., CEO of Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc.(CRO), parent company of Cantina Laredo. ³We look forward to bringing our unique flavor to Arkansas.²
The Little Rock Cantina Laredo will operate as a joint venture between CRO and South Shore Restaurant Holdings (SSRH) of  Flippin, AR. SSRH entered into a similar joint venture to open Cantina Laredo at Branson Landing, Branson, MO, and expects to continue opening additional Cantina Laredo restaurants. Steven Sanders, Jr., Vice President of family-owned SSRH, said, ³Cantina Laredo is a proven winner. We are pleased to be expanding into Arkansas.²
Cantina Laredo restaurants are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, and have an approximate average spend per person of $14.75 at lunch and $23.00 at dinner.  In addition to Little Rock, locations will open this year in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Boulder, CO and Huntsville, AL.

About Midtowne Little Rock:
The shopping center, at Markham Street and University Avenue across from Park Plaza Mall, was developed by Strode Property Company of Dallas.  It includes 130,000 square-retail space covering more than 10.5 acres.  It is home to 14 apparel, accessory, home furnishing, children's wear and outdoor living stores.
About Cantina Laredo:
Originated in 1984, Cantina Laredo is the premier brand in the gourmet Mexican dining market. Since 2002, Cantina Laredo has grown from two restaurants in Dallas to 23 restaurants in six U.S. states and one restaurant in Cairo, Egypt.  Cantina Laredo is now the largest gourmet Mexican restaurant concept in the United States.
About Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc.:
Cantina Laredo is part of Dallas-based Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO) which operates and franchises 117 restaurants in 12 states, employs 6,000 and has system wide sales of approximately $250 million.  CRO also operates and franchises III Forks, Silver Fox, Cool River, El Chico, Good Eats and Lucky¹s.
About South Shore Restaurant Holdings:
SSRH's parent company NATCO Communications, is an independent, family-owned company since 1951, provides telephone service to a 658 square-mile area in portions of Marion, Boone and Carroll counties. Its NATCO Technologies Division provides unregulated telecommunications services to residents throughout the Twin Lakes area, including Baxter County.
About Strode Property Company:
Strode Property Company of Dallas, Texas was founded in 1979 by James E. Strode, and specializes in developing high-quality retail shopping centers and credit build-to-suite opportunities.  For more than 26 years, the company has developed and managed more than 10 million square feet of retail shopping and build-to-suit properties throughout the South.

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