Tommy Roberson cooks fish in his portable trailer last weekend on a county lot just outside Maumelle city limits. Allowed outside the city limits, there’s a question whether of not such a restaurant would be legal in Maumelle. Code enforcement director Jim Morley said there actually is a temporary permit issued through the city clerk and each application is handled on a case by case basis. He said the city does allow a snow cone stand to go up each summer. A native of Crossett, Tommy said he worked at the Georgia Pacific plant there for 31 years and ran a popular restaurant, Tommy’s Catfish" for more than 21 years. A career part-time Arkansas National Guardsman Roberson said that’s where he developed his interest in cooking. After recently retiring from both his Crossett jobs, he said he missed cooking and started cooking on Thursday and Friday nights just to make himself happy. He and his wife moved to Maumelle to be near his daughter Natalie Walbert and her family. Living right off the Maumelle Country Club, Roberson said he has take up golfing with his grand daughter but he still has the urge to cook. He said he’s open Thursday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Friday he’s also open the same time but also for lunch between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. His menu is limited, Tommy said because the Arkansas Health Department requires more prep space for additional items. So catfish and shrimp are his only offerings.

Bill Lawson