Monthly Archives: April 2014

Travis McConnell shelves restaurant, looks at new model for Butcher & Public

Travis McConnell of Butcher & Public

Travis McConnell of Butcher & Public

An update from Capital Hotel alum Travis McConnell came my way today courtesy of a reader question for our “So, What’s the Deal With…” column.

One curious Little Rock diner had asked about the latest status of plans for McConnell’s Butcher & Public, the brick and mortar outpost for the chef’s charcuterie and whole animal butchering.

Though McConnell had been able to raise $8,960 through Kickstarter for the project in October, it seems plans turned out to be more financially straining than he’d originally thought.

“In my journey and goal of getting the brick & mortar up and going I have found it to be too ambitious for capital raising reasons,” McConnell said in an e-mail. “I have reevaluated and am now working on a different strategy.”

Currently, the chef’s plans involve locating a certified kitchen and setting up a Community Supported Agriculture model for his charcuterie.

“That would mean people interested can sign up for our newsletter and once a month receive the latest and greatest charcuterie option,” McConnell says. “It would be a 4-5 pound box of a mix like pate, bacon, smoked ham, etc.”

A monthly delivery of charcuterie? You have … Read more >

Lee Richardson’s Packet House buy hits snag

Last week, Arkansas Business broke the news that former Ashley’s chef and James Beard Award nominee Lee Richardson had taken over as executive chef and owner of The Packet House Grill. Though Richardson had plans for updates, Arkansas Business reported that the chef wouldn’t be making changes immediately.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STEPHEN B. THORNTON

But just a few days later, on March 28, The Packet House Grill Facebook page projected a slightly different outcome in a public status update: “We will be closing our doors for the time being. Thank you to everyone that [came] and experienced the Packet House Grill.”

Maybe that smooth transition wasn’t going so smoothly?

Turns out, it’s not.

Lee Richardson said via Facebook message today that the deal has not been completed, contrary to previous reports.

Does that mean that the purchase is still in the works, or has fallen through completely?

“I’d say I’m trying to figure that out myself,” Richardson said.

The report that Richardson had purchased Packet House was also picked up by the Arkansas Times, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and yes, Sync (sorry, it’s not online).

Stay tuned…

 … Read more >