The ownership picture of the burgeoning Big Orange/Local Lime/ZaZa empire has changed with the purchase by Little Rock businessman Russ McDonough of Herren Hickingbotham’s share in the restaurants.
That means that McDonough is now equal partners with Scott McGehee and John Beachboard in the two Big Orange restaurants in Little Rock and in ZaZa in the Heights. McDonough owns a quarter of Local Lime with McGehee, Beachboard and Ben Brainard. And of the ZaZa in Conway, McDonough owns a third with McGehee and Beachboard, with Adam Sweet retaining an option to buy a third of that restaurant at some time in the future.
McDonough declined to reveal the purchase price.
“John and Scott and I are essentially equal partners in all five restaurants,” McDonough told Whispers. “John Beachboard has been a close friend of mine for a long time, and Scott McGehee is a friend of mine, and it just seemed like a good opportunity,” McDonough said. “I think they’ve got a good plan for growth both with their existing concepts and some new concepts. John and I had talked off and on about it for a long time, the possibility of doing something together, and it all just came together.”
He doesn’t expect any changes with the five existing restaurants. “Hopefully, I’ll add more value on the business side, certainly not in the kitchen,” McDonough said. “Certainly, I think Scott and John have developed some concepts that can go other places besides just central Arkansas and they also have some ideas for new concepts.”