Butcher and Public to Open in Argenta

The food scene in Argenta just got a big boost with the announcement that Travis McConnell will be opening his permanent location for Butcher and Public in the old Argenta Market on Main Street in North Little Rock.

Soirée contributor Steve Shuler of the Little Rock Foodcast confirmed with McConnell that he will share the Argenta Market space with Donnie Ferneau’s Good Food by Ferneau.

Butcher and Public will be a full-service butcher shop, charcuterie and sandwich shop. McConnell will have a meat counter with local cuts of pork, beef, chicken and other meats. In addition, McConnell will be preparing his own bacon, sausage and other cured meats that will also be for sale.

Another exciting offering from Butcher and Public will be a new community-supported agriculture, or CSA, concept. Once a month, McConnell will prepare a five-pound basket of various meats and sell them to customers who sign up for the “meat share” program online. McConnell says he plans on several varieties each month, including a breakfast basket, a southern spread and an Italian basket.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign last year raised nearly $9,000 to get Butcher and Public started, McConnell has been in search of a permanent commercial kitchen to do his work. He has spent some time working out of South on Main’s kitchen and the kitchen at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in North Little Rock.

“I was calling anybody and everybody I could think of who might have a kitchen,” says McConnell. “I gave him (Donnie Ferneau) a ring and asked him, and it turned out he was onto something a little bigger (Argenta Market). He thought with the butcher element I could bring to his space that he was opening that this would really be a fun collaboration, and it’s really turning into that.”

McConnell and Ferneau are working on turning the old Argenta Market into their own space right now. While no exact opening date is set, McConnell will begin preparing meats for curing later this month, and the two hope to be open by mid-August.

The complete interview on Butcher and Public with Travis McConnell is available on today’s Little Rock Foodcast, available on iTunes or online here.

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