There's a lot happening in the ever-expanding Scott McGehee dining empire. John Beachboard, a longtime McGehee compatriot, is taking over as chef de cuisine at Valentine's Ballpark Restaurant, where McGehee serves, nominally he says, as executive chef. Beachboard will re-do the menu a bit and, over the next six months, train his yet-to-be-hired replacement.
By Christmas, or January at the latest, McGehee says he and Beachboard hope to open Za-Za Fine Salad and Wood-Oven Pizza Company in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center. The Napoli-style pizza joint will give just as much attention to salads, McGehee says, and feature premium wine by the glass, draft beer, Italian-style espresso and cafe latte and homemade gelato.
By April of next year, McGehee hopes to open the Big Orange Cafe, a joint venture with his longtime bakery chef, Sonia Schafer. Traditional breakfast and brunch, with a European flavor, would be the focus, McGehee says, with the hope that it would evolve into a bohemian-style coffee shop in the afternoon and a wine bar at night. The restaurateurs are targeting the old Little Rock Paint and Wallpaper building in Stifft Station, where Markham and Kavanaugh merge.