by Max Brantley
-- Brian Chilson photo
Juanita’s Mexican Cafe and Bar, the venerable Tex-Mex fixture on South Main, has been sold.
Johnny Weaver and his wife Alicia closed a deal to buy the place Wednesday. The seller was the widow of long-time owner Frank McGehee.
Existing management will stay in place said Weaver, 37, an auction company owner and occasional singer with the band 13 X, which plays Juanita’s from time to time.
“My passion is the same as yours,” Weaver said. “It’s with the restaurant and its location. It’s been a special place for me. … We’re just going to pick up the ball and keep things rolling. We hope to do what Frank would have done to complete his vision of things.”
Changes on the entertainment side: Future live music shows will be 21 and up. There’ll be no more 18 and older nights. “I also can see doing more radio station promotions and more theme nights,” he said.
Also, he said, he hopes to fill a few “holes” in the menu with some dishes he’s seen in Texas and Southern California, plus additional salsas made to his wife’s family recipes.
One menu addition: a fish taco made not in the Little Rock fashion with battered and fried fish, but with grilled fish, in the Mexican style.