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Newgate borrows former Johnny Cace's restaurant for Christmas store

By Glenn Evans
Oct. 12, 2016 at 11:49 p.m.

Volunteers Laurie Bogle, left, and Betty Harris discuss where to move tables Wednesday while setting up for the Newgate Christmas Store being held at the former Johnny Cace's Seafood & Steak  House building in Longview.

A new tradition might be in the making in the home of a Longview landmark — to the sound of jingle bells.

"I just think it's cool to have the Newgate store here," Chelsea Cace said Wednesday, sitting in the foyer of the shuttered Johnny Cace's Seafood & Steak House on East Marshall Avenue. "And it's going to be fun for people to walk through."

Cace and her mother, Cathy, in March 2015 closed the restaurant that her grandfather founded 66 years earlier. She is quick to note that the building is for sale, but she evidently was just as quick to offer it to Newgate Mission when she learned the Methodist ministry was looking for a place for its second Newgate Christmas Store.

The seasonal decoration and holiday paraphernalia store, which raises funds that benefit the mission, debuted this past year in donated space in downtown Longview.

The Mobberly Avenue mission feeds homeless people breakfast and lunch seven days a week, including Christmas, conducts Sunday services and daily Bible Studies and operates the Bargain Center.

During the year, Marketing and Fundraising Director Kristi Bogle-Sherman and others have set aside donations with a Yule theme for the holiday bazaar.

"We've got a forest of Christmas trees," Bogle-Sherman said, adding she is recruiting a team from Eastman Chemical Co., Texas Operations to assemble the faux trees. "We feel like that's a good project for engineers."

Lights, outdoor and indoor decorations, stockings, wreaths and more are on the menu in the former restaurant.

The young and young at heart should recognize the old toy box that occupied restless children at Johnny Cace's. It will be filled with toys at a $1 grab-bag price.

Another Johnny Cace's flashback: Shoppers will be able to sign up for holiday cheer and crouton orders of that creamy cheese spread that most diners have not tasted since the landmark restaurant closed.

The Christmas shop opens Nov. 4, but shoppers can get first dibs on the merchandise at Kickoff Night on Nov. 3.

Tickets for that three-hour opening are available at Newgate Mission, 207 Mobberly Ave., and Bogle-Sherman said she anticipates cutting off ticket sales before those exceed the building's 15,000-square-foot fire code capacity.

The kickoff also will feature live music, a raffle and food from Cathy and Chelsea Cace's new venture, The Cace Kitchen. A weeklong, $1 raffle will yield other treasures, including a gift package from The Cace Kitchen.

"There's so many positives," Cace said. "You can give back to the community by donating to the mission. You can give by buying really great items at fabulous prices, and you can gain memories by walking through the building again."

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