Hardings' Cache Restaurant a Clarion Call for Good Times in River Market

by Jan Cottingham  on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 12:00 am  

Clark Contractors was the contractor for the Arcade Building. The Johnson Studio of Atlanta, an architecture firm devoted to restaurant design, designed Cache, and Pioneer Distributing Co. of North Little Rock outfitted the kitchen.

Cache is hosting a number of Christmas parties as well as a New Year’s Eve fete for 400, at $75 per person. Details can be found at CacheLittleRock.com.

On-the-Job Training

Rush Harding says Cooper was responsible for devising the business plan for Cache but that the experience of owning and operating 1620 Savoy has proved invaluable to son Payne. Payne Harding bought that restaurant June 30, 2012, with Rick Qualls and Tim Morton, as well as with Arkansan John Masching, also a Culinary Institute of America graduate and sous chef at Cache.

“It was an existing business with an established clientele, established cash flow,” Rush Harding says. And even though his son is a great cook, Harding says, he previously had lacked business experience.

In 2012, according to tax records of the Little Rock Advertising & Promotions Commission, 1620 Savoy had gross receipts of $435,384, but it was closed all July and August and part of September of that year for renovations. Through October of this year, the restaurant has had gross foods receipts of $824,334, not including alcohol.

“I think one of the things that has really opened Payne’s eyes: Being able to cook is only a minuscule part of the total dynamic to making a restaurant go,” Harding says. “You can be the greatest cook in the world but if you can’t handle the business side of it, you’re doomed.”

Payne Harding has the culinary chops, as does Cooper. And Payne Harding has also had the business experience of 1620 Savoy, so if Cache is a risk — and any new business is — it’s a calculated one.

Asked why he’s taken on the enterprise, Rush Harding says, “I just like to support my kids in whatever they do.”



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