Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : February 2, 2014

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent

GUN BARREL CITY–Momentum is building toward the announcement of the reopening of the movie theater in Heritage Park, according to city officials.
The Gun Barrel City Council tabled an agenda item related to the approval of an agreement between the Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corp., Gun Barrel City and Home Town Cinema at a meeting Jan. 28. City manager Gerry Boren asked the council to table the item to allow the EDC time to meet with the cinema company one more time to settle more details.
Home Town Cinema, which has a theater in Terrell, is seeking a 380 Agreement with the EDC and the City to acquire incentives to go into business on Cedar Creek Lake. The 380 Agreement is a reference to chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code, which authorizes Texas cities to encourage economic development by awarding cash, loans, city personnel, and city services, according to the Texas City Attorneys Association.
Boren said the EDC would meet with Home Town Cinema representatives on Jan. 30, and that he anticipated the city council would call a special meeting the following week to approve the 380 Agreement so the reopening of the theater, which closed last summer because of a financial failure, could move forward.
EDC president Linda Rankin said she is optimistic that there would be good news about the movie theater announced soon. “It’s getting very close,” she said.
Rankin said she planned to visit Home Town Cinema’s theater in Terrell to check out its operation.
In other action, the council:
• called a municipal election for May 10 to place the positions of mayor and two council members, Place 2, now held by Melvyn Hayes, and Place 4, now held by Dennis Baade, on the ballot. Mayor Paul Eaton and Baade, said they plan to run for re-election Hayes has termed out and is not eligible for re-election. Candidate filing began Jan. 29 and continues through Feb. 28.
• approved the replat of two lots in Harbor Point into one lot at 315 Outboard Drive for owner Craig Jennings, who is building a separate storage building on his property. Boren said Jennings had improved the property with a nice fence and a swimming pool so he was confident of the suitability and quality of the project.
• reappointed Jim Cavanaugh and Jim Osborne to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Boren said the two men were “doing a great job” and deserved to continue in the positions.
• approved a resolution in support of the Texas Department of Transportation’s “replacement of the two State Highway 334 bridges crossing over Cedar Creek Lake and roadway expansion on the north side of the existing State Highway 334.”
• approved a resolution tying city employee reimbursement expenses to Government Services Administration rates for costs such as mileage, hotel bills and meals when employees are traveling on business for the city.
• began the annexation process for a 61-acre parcel of land owned by the EDC to the north of the city in the extraterritorial jurisdiction. The process will involve two public hearings, publication of notices of intent and a waiting period that will end March 25. Rankin said the annexation is necessary because the EDC cannot own land outside of the city limits.
• approved bids for the purchase of road materials for 2014.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : January 30, 2014

Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–Department of Public Safety trooper Kyle Bradford reports a fatal traffic accident Wednesday, Jan. 22, involving just one car a half-mile south of the City of Kemp.
Kaufman County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Johnny Adams pronounced the death at the scene on State Highway 274. (See obituary page 11A of the Thursday, January 30, 2014 issue of The Monitor.)
Bradford reports that Sharlene L. Stephens, 39 of Gun Barrel City, was northbound at around 2:30 a.m. when for an unknown reason she crossed over into the southbound lane and left the roadway into the ditch on the west side of the road.
The trooper said her 2002 Kia sedan then went airborne and crashed into trees and a concrete culvert before coming to rest on the driver’s side on the north side of the ditch.
The driver was ejected from the vehicle, he added.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : January 26, 2014

Monitor Photo/David Webb Lew Talbot stands next to a bank of windows facing the lake at the old Beijing Gardens, which has been purchased and is to be reopened as Coconut. Talbot will be the manager of the new restaurant and nightclub, just yards from his former Cedar Isle Restaurant and Baja Club that burned down in 2012.

Monitor Photo/David Webb
Lew Talbot stands next to a bank of windows facing the lake at the old Beijing Gardens, which has been purchased and is to be reopened as Coconut. Talbot will be the manager of the new restaurant and nightclub, just yards from his former Cedar Isle Restaurant and Baja Club that burned down in 2012.

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent

SEVEN POINTS–After a year of hanging out, restaurant and club owner Lew Talbot is about to get back to doing what he likes best – entertaining people.
Talbot, the former owner of Cedar Isle Restaurant and Baja Club who saw his business go up in flames in late 2012, is opening a new restaurant and club called Coconut in mid-April. The new business will be in the old Beijing Garden restaurant on the causeway island, just down the highway from where Cedar Isle once thrived.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to the opening,” Talbot said. “I got really tired of not working. I’m a high-energy person, and I need to stay busy.”
As the general manager of the new operation that is being financed by a Dallas investor who liked what he saw at Cedar Isle, Talbot is already busy overseeing the renovation of the old Chinese restaurant that stood vacant for about a decade.
When Coconut opens, it will be remodeled inside and out. The red building will be repainted in a different color, inside and out. There will be a lake theme, and that will include the construction of a dock for boat slips and a large covered deck in back facing the water.
The inside of the non-smoking restaurant will feature a horseshoe-shaped bar, a private banquet room for parties and meetings and lots of tables and chairs for dining along the scenic windows that stretch the length of the back of the large restaurant. The food will be American, featuring seafood, steaks and specialty sandwiches.
The over-sized kitchen makes just about anything possible in terms of food preparation, Talbot said. He pointed to an enormous stainless steel cooking vat for shrimp and crawfish, left over from the restaurant’s previous days.
There will be a bandstand built in back for live music on Saturday nights, and there will be a stage and dance floor inside. The family-friendly restaurant will become a dinner nightclub at night.
“It will be similar to what we had at Cedar Isle,” Talbot said. “We will probably have beach volleyball too.”
Everyone is going crazy with excitement when they find out what I am going to do,” Talbot said. “This is going to be a huge summer.”
Coconut will be the only restaurant and club that sits lakeside. Real estate agents have complained for the last year since Cedar Isle burned that potential customers are disappointed when they must tell them there are no lakeside venues for them to visit.
“I think it’s going to be very unique,” Talbot said. “It’s going to be a nice, clean, fun place – very lakey.”
Talbot said that although he is the general manager now, rather than the owner, he plans to put all of his energy behind making Coconut a big success.
“I’m going to be here a long time,” Talbot said.