Arkansas' Whole Hog Cafe setting up in Cherry Hill

Whole Hog Cafe, a BBQ operation based in Little Rock, is less than two months from opening a location on the former site of a Bob Evans at 2321 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill.

Operator Chris Maynes says he is moving slowly and cautiously with his opening plans, given that this will be the first Whole Hog in the East Coast. He said it should open in late July.

Maynes grew up in Haddonfield and worked in the area for Aramark and as a Navy Supply Corps Officer. 

His sister Kathy had moved to Little Rock, where she met and married Ron Blasingame, one of Whole Hog's founders. (Blasingame was a BBQ hobbyist and also owned a leasing company.) After Blasingame died in 2009, Kathy got the business and asked her little brother to help run it.

Among Whole Hog's honors are wins at the 2000, 2002 and 2008 Memphis-in-May World Barbecue Championships.