Judd’s Downtown celebrated a soft opening on New Year’s Eve, with a restaurant at 117 E. Tyler St. that will feature all-day breakfast, appetizers, steaks, salads, sandwiches, pasta, fish tacos, a children’s menu and a full-service bar.

Longview resident and restaurateur Judd Byrnes and his business partner Tommy Chacko opened the restaurant, which also features well-known local chef Ronald Porter.

“Ronald’s well known in the area. Ronald will have a number of things on the menu and specials every day …” Chacko said. “Ronald is a trained pastry chef, so we’ll be highlighting his pastries all day.”

Judd’s Downtown wants to provide a place for people to meet — to cater to the phases of people who frequent downtown Longview each day, Chacko said — from morning crew health care workers, to emergency service workers, to people who work in the business district or to people frequenting the other businesses downtown.

“We know we’re going to have a mixed-use development downtown,” Chacko said, and the restaurant will serve “mixed-use patrons.”

Chacko said they felt like it was the right time to open the restaurant even though COVID-19 restrictions recently became more strict.

“We’ll focus on great food and great service and great atmosphere,” whether the restaurant is at 50 percent or 75 percent, and with a focus on keeping everyone healthy, Chacko said.

The restaurant will be open 7 a.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday and 7 a.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. The restaurant also is planning a “downtown brunch” the last Sunday of every month. Watch Facebook for details.

Spine, joint hospital expanding

Baylor Scott & White Texas Spine and Joint Hospital is adding an outpatient physical therapy clinic at 921 W. Loop 281 in Longview.

Jess Mowery, regional director of marketing and clinic operations, said the physical therapy clinic will be next door to its orthopedic clinic, which opened in June. He said Baylor Scott & White hopes the outpatient physical therapy clinic is open Feb. 1, depending on the arrival of certain equipment that could be delayed because of COVID issues.

The orthopedic clinic’s opening was affected by the initial elective surgery ban after COVID.

He noted, though, the facilities do not take care of COVID patients. He said his company has heard from patients who appreciate that.

“On top that, we’ve actually had patients who would normally go to one of the big hospitals who have scheduled with us because their COVID capacity had limited their ability to do elective surgeries at those other hospitals,” Mowery said.

Martin sells lubricants business

Kilgore-based Martin Midstream Partners L.P. recently sold one of its businesses in a move the company said reflects its commitment to debt reduction.

Martin sold its Mega Lubricants shore-based terminals business to John W. Stone Oil Distributor for $22.4 million.The sale was announced Dec. 22.

Robert Bondurant, executive vice president, chief financial officer and director of the Partnership, said in a prepared statement, “The announcement today reflects our continued emphasis on debt reduction through the sale of non-core assets allowing MMLP to focus on our commercial strengths and long-term relationships built around our refinery services assets. As I stated in our last earnings call, my vision as I begin my role as CEO on January 1, 2021, is to make our Partnership attractive to investors again. Reducing our leverage is integral to that vision.”

Mega Lubricants blends, manufactures and delivers marine application lubricants, sub-sea specialty fluids, and proprietary developed commercial and industrial products.

John Stone Jr., general manager of Stone Oil, said, “John W. Stone Oil Distributor has been in the marine fuel and lubricants distribution business for nearly 75 years, plying its trade on the lower Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. With the acquisition of the lubricant formulation, blending, and distribution business, we are excited to expand our offering. Mega Lubricants and John W. Stone Oil Distributor are very complementary businesses that share the same business spirit: a commitment to safety, quality, and service. Mega Lubricant’s delivery operations will expand Stone Oil’s existing distribution and delivery operations. We look forward to integrating seamlessly because of the similarities in corporate culture and personnel. We are excited about this acquisition and continue to look at growth in the future.”

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