Cousins Leon Ymaj and Akil Memia said they plan to bring Greek food to Longview-area diners with their Greek Cafe, set to open Oct. 7 at 1903 W. Loop 281.

Ymaj, who was born in Albania, and Memia, a native of Greece, said they decided to open a Greek restaurant and not follow the example of other immigrants from Albania who own Italian restaurants, including Uncle Joe’s Pizza & Pasta on McCann Road and Roma’s Italian Kitchen downtown.

“I don’t want competition from the other Albanians,” Memia said with a laugh. “Since there is no Greek food in town, it looks like a good opportunity.”

Memia said he and his cousin were born and raised in restaurants, adding his family owns restaurants in Beaumont, Bridge City, Fort Worth and Gainesville.

Memia said Greek Cafe will serve dishes such as lamb shank, shish and lamb kebab, gyros, grape leaves stuffed with rice and baklava.

Greek Cafe has seating for 55 to 60 people and will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Mud Hut to the loop

The Mud Hut pottery studio has moved to 103 W. Loop 281, Suite 410, near Jason’s Deli, where it reopened Wednesday. The business moved from 1001 N. Fourth St.

Julie Panameno, who bought the business in June 2018 from Jenny Austin, said she moved because the loop offers “a higher-traffic location, close to shopping.”

She said the new location also is almost twice as big at 3,800 square feet.

“And,” Panameno said, “we have a much bigger party area,” she said.

Mud Hut is a paint-your-own studio that offers customers many types of projects to create, Panameno said.

The studio glazes and fires the pottery after customers paint it, Panameno said. The finished product is ready in a week.

Panameno, who previously worked in the lawn-care field for 18 years, said she has extended the hours for Mud Hut at the new location.

The new hours are 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

New tattoo business

Angel and Emily Chavez have moved Twisted Rabbit Tattoo Co. from San Marcos to 2029 S. High St. in Longview to be closer to Emily’s family.

They opened six years ago in San Marcos and came up with the name because it was catchy, Angel Chavez said. Twisted Rabbit offers tattooing and body piercing.

Chavez said Twisted Rabbit plans to conduct tattoo conventions in Longview and other cities and launch a toy drive during the holiday season.

“We are trying to get very involved with the community,” he said.

Twisted Rabbit Tattoo Co. is open from 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Monday and by appointment on Tuesdays.

Herbalife distributors

Shaun Morton, who has worked in the nutrition field for six years, said he plans to open two independent Herbalife distributorships by mid-October: Inspire Nutrition at 1809 W. Loop 281, Suite 134 in Longview and Facefit Nutrition at 120 N. Kilgore St. in Kilgore.

Morton, who also has opened locations in Henderson, Tyler and Whitehouse, said the businesses will be available to customers who buy day memberships to order nutritional shakes and energy teas.

He said the businesses can offer customized packages and coaching, adding, “We do wellness evaluations.”

Morton said he also will offer “transformational challenges” to enable people to lose or gain weight and become healthier.

More salons open

Two operators have set up shop at Sola Salons Studios Longview, 110 Triple Creek Drive, Suite 40, Sola president Cile Stokes said.

Caitlin Reeves has opened a salon using her name that specializes in hair, hair extensions, makeup and facial waxing in Studio 22.

Michelle Hargenrader has opened Salon Sublime in Studio 17, specializing in brows, hair and makeup. She also is certified in Surface-Awaken.

Visit for more information.

— 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.