The Legend of Casey


Irish Kevin Corcoran (called Casey by his cronies) was a saloon-keeper in the New York of 1878. Dime novels and newspaper reports of the Wild West taunted Casey's restless spirit so he sold the bar and traveled to the region of the Texas Panhandle. 

Being near-blind in one eye and wearing double thick glasses, Casey ruined his gunslinger career when he shot off his big toe in his first shootout. His life was saved only because his opponent laughed so hard that he hyperventilated and passed out. Penniless and famous only as a laughing stock, he took a job as a chuckwagon cook for cattle drives to Kansas City. 

Casey did, however, make a name for himself as the worst cook this side of the Rio Grande, and many a cowhand gladly took on extra work through mealtimes in order to avoid the ordeal of eating. It was one day that Casey was simmering a thick barbecue sauce adding a pinch of one spice and a taste of anohter, that he was called away from the stewpot. Quickly one of the hands jumped to the pungent mess, tasted it with a grimace, and added a spice of his own. 

One by one, each hand secretly sampled the sauce and doctored it. Even Sly Dog, the old Indian guide, reached into his pouch to sprinkle in special "medicines" to the brew. All told it took sixteen hired men to construct the recipe that Casey believed to be the "best barbecue sauce he ever cooked". 

Try as he might, Casey could not duplicate the concoction and the hands would take turns calling him away from his cooking so tyhat each one could shake or pour his own ingredient before Casey returned. 

The Irishman's sauce soon became legendary, and he was approached by a swank San Francisco restaurant to be head chef. The hired hands were forced to tell Casey of what they had done to perfect hyis recipe, and since they did not know what ingredients the others had used, Casey was talked into hiring all sixteen men, including Sly Dog, as helpers so that his famous mixture could be used in San Francisco. And sinch each man longed to remain in that wild California town, each was secretive of his special additive to the others, which guaranteed him of a position in Casey's restaurant. 

It took old Sly Dog, to hide himself in the kitchen and write down the spices that were added one by one. Years went by, Casey died in a brawl with the grocer over the price of onions, and Sly Dog moved east to the home of his ancestors, Arkansas. 

It is here, in Little Rock, after generations, that the tasty recipe of Kevin Corcoran, has surfaced in this restaurant. We are proud to be the final resting place of the infamous barbecue sauce of Casey.