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What's cooking, Jan. 18 

Chef Wendell Price, who owns Wendell’s World Beat Grill, is wanting to open Wendell’s Signature Restaurant in the River Market district during 2007. The location would be just east of the Clinton Museum Store on President Clinton Avenue in a building owned by Dennis Long.

Price authored a cookbook with fellow Memphian and famed musician Isaac Hayes, has a TV cooking show, and has been featured in such national magazines as Essence and InStyle Entertaining. His website is www.chefwendell.com, and he sells soups and other items by mail, such as she-crab soup and shrimp gumbo.

Price has been recruiting investors in the market and hopes to roll out the concept within 90 days, then have the restauarant going within six months. He has planned a two-level restaurant in 12,000 square feet with a relaxed bistro on the Arkansas River side offering dishes in the $5 to $7 range, with a high-end, upscale eatery upstairs. Also, the lower level would include built-in barbecue pits where customers could bring in their own food and have chefs cook it for them, with any of Price’s signature spices and seasonings or cedar planks (for fish) available.

“I’m trying to bring a different element to Little Rock,” he said. “Each concept I’ve worked on is different.”

Price has opened restaurants in Houston (with Olympian Carl Lewis), Belize-Curacao and several other projects outside of Memphis, and a low-country style restaurant in a Memphis hotel that opened last week.

“What I’m looking at is a restaurant that accommodates someone looking for a price range from $8 up to $45, from seafood to steak to tapas,” he said. “I’m trying to bring a global aspect of food to Little Rock, doing something I’m proud of and making Little Rock proud.”

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