The restaurateurs behind ZaZa, Local Lime and Big Orange in Little Rock plan to open a second, revised version of Big Orange in mid-June on University Avenue in Little Rock.
The new eatery will be a modified version of the original Big Orange, which opened in 2011 and serves gourmet burgers from its location at The Promenade at Chenal shopping center. Big Orange’s food sales were $2.38 million for January through November 2012, according to tax data from the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“They’ll be similar, but we’re looking forward to doing some new and interesting things,” said John Beachboard, owner and chef. Beachboard is opening the new restaurant with Scott McGehee, his partner in the other original restaurant ventures.
Beachboard and McGehee are converting a former Relax the Back retail space into the new restaurant. Construction should begin at the end of January.
Amber Brewer, brand manager for the Beachboard and McGehee restaurants, said the restaurant owners were essentially taking a “shell” of a building and converting it into the restaurant. That will involve everything from pouring a slab for the restaurant’s patio to installing grease traps for the kitchen, she said.
Unique features planned for the new Big Orange include twice as many beer options as the original Big Orange and wine and cocktails on tap.
There will also be “a really big horseshoe bar,” Brewer said.
Also new will be a “dessert world” area, Brewer said, where the restaurant will operate a shake station and also serve fizzes and phosphates, the old-fashioned soda fountain drinks that are “new in this area,” Brewer said.
The dessert department will also have house-made cakes, pies and confections on display. The other McGehee-Beachboard restaurants have served the desserts, but haven’t displayed them. In-house baker Autumn Hall makes the baked goodies.
A few new appetizers and burgers should show up on the menu, as well, Brewer said.
The second Big Orange will be about 4,000 SF, or roughly the same size as the first burger restaurant. However, the new place will have a much more open feel, Brewer said, due to a glass garage door that will mainly be kept open, but can divide the restaurant’s main dining room from an enclosed, heated and cooled patio. The restaurant will seat about 140 people.