A stand-alone Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant has opened at the former home of Fazoli’s at 2407 Judson Road in Longview.

A stand-alone Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant has opened at the former home of Fazoli’s at 2407 Judson Road in Longview.

The new KFC has nine tables inside for dining along with a drive-thru.

KBP Foods, based in Overland Park, Kansas, began construction of the restaurant Aug. 5. The project has a construction value of $950,000, according to the Longview Development Services Department.

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

Jacksonville-based franchisee Southern Multifoods previously operated four KFC restaurants that shared buildings with Taco Bell. Two were in Longview, and one apiece operated in Kilgore and Gilmer.

However, Southern Multifoods tore down the restaurants and built stand-alone Taco Bells in their place.

The new KFC is open 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Doc’s Hot Links goes mobile

Doc’s Hot Links, which marked its 50th anniversary in Gilmer in June, is going mobile by expanding into White Oak with a truck parked next to Dairy Queen at 100 1/2 E. U.S. 80.

“This is history,” said Mesha Capps, noting this will be the first time Doc’s will serve hot links outside its digs at 208 S. Wood St. in Gilmer. She and her father, Terry, bought Doc’s in May 2015 from Floyd Henderson.

Capps said she and her father decided to open a second location after customers on social media from Gladewater, Tyler, Kilgore and Longview requested White Oak as a more central location. She plans a soft opening Wednesday and a grand opening Nov. 25.

The White Oak Doc’s will have an on-site kitchen and serve the restaurant’s original hot links, jalopeno/pepperjack hot links and chili, Capps said.

With no seating on the premises, she said customers may dine inside Dairy Queen or take their meals home or to their work sites.

Capps, who will work out of the mobile unit, said Doc’s Hot Links might expand elsewhere depending on how well the mobile unit is received in White Oak.

Its hours will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, subject to change.

Mafia St Jerky Co. opens

Nether Nynex and Ron Thompson, owners of the two Mafia Street Vapor Co. shops in Longview, have expanded their brand by opening Mafia St Jerky Co. at 2551 D Judson Road.

The partners, who also own Gold Rush Pawn in Longview, said they decided to open the jerky shop to expand options for area residents. They sell a variety of beef and turkey jerky, along with exotic jerky made from pythons, sharks and snapping turtles.

Nynex said the store also carries Texas traditional rip-and-tear jerky.

“We carry hot sauces that you can’t get anywhere else,” Nynex said, adding they are featured on a YouTube channel.

“The customers know us and we have a high bar for customer service,” Nynex said.

Nynex said he and his partner plan to expand by opening jerky shops in Tyler and Shreveport.

Mafia St Jerky Co. is open noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit its Facebook page.

New DWI driving class business

Mike Middleton, a retired Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office lieutenant who is winding down his term as a Caddo Parish commissioner, has moved to Longview from Shreveport and launched www.imsafer.us to offer a DWI education class.

Middleton said he taught the class for several years while employed with the sheriff’s office and decided to operate classes as a sideline business in retirement.

He said referrals will come from the Gregg County Probation Department and from attorneys representing clients charged with driving while intoxicated.

“The end goal is to deter people from the deadly combination of drinking and driving,” he said.

The 12-hour class class meets in three sessions in Suite 211-43 in the Austin Bank building at 911 W. Loop 281.

For more information, visit www.imsafer.us.

— 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.