Jimmy Lancaster said he has come out of retirement to open Jimmys Kitchen at the food court in the Longview Mall, 3500 McCann Road.

Lancaster said he needed to return to work after retiring four years ago, and hopes to open Jimmy’s Kitchen on Saturday.

“We’ll have some specialty foods, Cajun-type foods along with hamburgers and hot dogs,” Lancaster said. “There will also be a daily lunch special.”

Lancaster said his goal is to “serve great food.”

He said he was a cook in the U.S. Army for two years during the Vietnam War era and owned Jimmys Flavor Crisp Chicken restaurants in Jefferson, Daingerfield, Hughes Springs, Linden, Texarkana, Gladewater, Overton, Carthage, Center and Tatum for eight years during the 1970s and 1980s.

Lancaster said his most recent job was selling cars for 16 years.

Now, he said he is returning to his passion for cooking.

Jimmys Kitchen will be open during mall hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Judson Road KFC

A KFC restaurant is going up where Fazoli’s formerly stood at 2407 Judson Road.

KBP Foods, based in Overland Park, Kansas, began construction of the KFC Aug. 5 and expects to open it by the end of this year, spokeswoman Michelle Doebele said in an email.

As proposed, the store will have indoor dining and drive-thru, according to an application submitted to the Longview Development Services Department months ago. The project has a construction value of $950,000.

KBP Foods is one of the largest YUM! brand franchises in the country, operating more than 700 restaurants across 24 states, Doebele said. That includes more than 80 KFC restaurants across Central and East Texas, including Dallas and Houston.

Jacksonville-based franchisee Southern Multifoods Inc. formerly operated four KFC restaurants that shared buildings with Taco Bell: two in Longview and one apiece in Kilgore and Gilmer. However, the company tore them down and built stand-alone Taco Bell restaurants in their place.

Soap shop expands

Michael and April Hines, owners of a business that makes and sells soap, have moved Scrubby Love Gladewater from the Pacific Street Traders Mall at 355 E. Pacific St. to a building of their own at 205 N. Main St.

“Our plan was to see how it went and to go from there,” Michael Hines said. “In nine months, we were able to purchase our own commercial property. That was just to provide a better service and to have it all in one building.”

Hines said he and his wife formerly operated out of two buildings at the mall. They now have about 50 more square feet than there, bringing the total to 800 square feet.

Scrubby Love Gladewater makes soaps out of natural products, including activated charcoal, goats milk and essential oils, Hines said.

“We have a self-serve salt bar where you can make your own bath minerals,” he said. “We can make them smell like anything you want to make them smell like, and we can make them bubble.”

Hines said the process takes weeks before soaps are ready to be sold. That includes placing the ingredients into molds, cutting them into soap bars and letting them harden.

Customers include teachers, firefighters and police officers, “Just the regular person that likes to use natural products.”

Scrubby Love Gladewater is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday.

Gladewater Italian

Jojo Antonio, who spent 10 years in the restaurant business in Dallas, has opened Tuscany’s Italian Restaurant at 1103 W. Upshur Ave. (U.S. 80) in Gladewater.

Antonio said the restaurant is a pizzeria that serves a variety of Italian dishes. He added diners may bring their own beer and wine.

Tuscany’s Italian Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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