Business Beat: Fit House Café to open soon on Judson Road

Biff Speer and his sister Kelli Speer are working on opening Fit House Cafe in the former home of Hebert’s Specialty Meats at Chaparral Plaza at 1301 Judson Road.

Biff Speer said the restaurant will serve buffalo meat, black Angus beef, turkey, chicken and, for the vegetarians, black beans.

"We will jump off to a complete vegan menu," he said.

Speer and his sister plan to open the restaurant Feb. 2, depending on city inspections and other factors.

Justin Simmons Construction has been remodeling the building.

"We remodeled the whole inside of the place," Simmons said. "We redid the ceiling and ductwork. And we totally revamped the whole kitchen area. Everything’s got fresh paint. New floor."

Work has been going on in the building for months. Hebert’s closed in May.

Bobcat remodeling

The Bobcat of Longview building at 1511 W. Marshall Ave. is being remodeled.

The equipment dealership hired Bullard Construction of Addison to do interior alterations of the 2,937-square-foot building, according to information filed with the Longview Development Services Department.

The work includes addition of offices, remodeling bathrooms, removal of several walls and doors and installation of an 8-foot fence. A city permit issued Jan. 3 values the project at $200,000.

The remodeling project is "just bringing the building up to date," Bobcat Branch Manager Steve Craig said. He added the dealership has about 12 employees.

Bullard was unavailable for comment on how long the project would take to complete.

Berry Cos. of Wichita, Kansas, bought the Bobcat operations in Longview, Fort Worth and Irving in December 2008 from Conley Lott Nichols of Texas. Before the sale, Conley Lott Nichols had served the East Texas market since 1989.

Interior design

Kim Whyte and Kristal Childs have opened Abide Design + Home, an interior design-based home furnishings and gift store, at 497 Henderson Lane.

Whyte said she and Childs are aiming the business at people who enjoy decorating their homes or shopping for a gift for a friend.

"We also welcome our fellow interior design professionals to our Thinking Room, where they can come alone or with a client and flip through our catalogs over a cup of coffee," she said in an email.

Both Whyte and Childs have backgrounds in remodeling and design work.

Whyte said she went back to school to learn kitchen and bath design and previously remodeled her own home.

Childs said she opened Pursuing Eden in 2010, where she sold found items and farmhouse-style home decor and gifts. She said she also had a booth at Canton First Mondays as well as Vintage Soul.

The two women met in art classes and at Vintage Soul, and decided to become an interior design duo.

They have scheduled a grand opening for 10 a.m. Feb. 3. Business hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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Real estate office

Jessica and Greg Holmes have struck out on their own by opening East Texas Preferred Properties at 101 E. Lantrip St. in Kilgore.

Jessica Holmes, the broker, brings four years of real estate experience, while her husband started in the field in September 2016. They previously worked as agents with Mobbs Real Estate Group.

Greg Holmes, who was named Rookie of the Year by the Longview Area Association of Realtors during its annual banquet in December, said their office will focus on residential and commercial real estate.

"What I enjoy is getting to meet new people and help home buyers out," he said.

Greg Holmes is a Kilgore native and said both he and his wife graduated from Kilgore High School. He worked in the oil field before going into real estate.

Holmes said he and his wife bought a building downtown and plan to move into it in April.

Meanwhile, they maintain office hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and weekends by appointment.

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— Business Beat appears Sunday. If you have items for the column, email to; mail to Business Section, Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606; or call (903) 237-7744.

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