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MARY MEAUX — Our area saw plenty of good in rough 2020

Despite a year overshadowed by a pandemic and not-so-pleasant other news stories, there was a lot of good to be found this year.

You just need to look.

New eateries popped up and some broke ground and other businesses got a new lease on existence. The Port Arthur News highlighted some of this during the dreaded year 2020.

  • Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux, 2729 Jimmy Johnson Blvd. in Port Arthur, is pretty much complete and has an opening date in early January.
  • Port Arthur native Nathan Nguyen opened up Twin City Seafood, 3922 N. Twin City Highway in Nederland, in pursuit of his childhood dream.
  • Betty Jo’s Southern Cooking — a food truck that serves comfort and soul food, is the brainchild of LaShaunda Colvin. She’s located on Gulfway Drive between Second and Third Avenue.
  • Keke’s Chicken and Soul Food at 2349 Ninth Avenue in Port Arthur opened in September and is a venture of Keesha Jones and family.
  • Fans were excited when Luby’s, 4840 Texas 73 off Twin City Highway, reopened in August. Many of the other restaurants in the chain are now permanently closed.
  • Xtreme Nutrition, whose slogan is “making the world happier and healthier,” was spotlighted by The News this year. Owner Vicente Lopez of Nederland owns the business at 2115 Nederland Ave., Suite B, in Nederland.
  • The Tran family, previously known for owning John’s Seafood, is rebranding and bringing the community’s beloved favorites back to Port Arthur.

Owners and brothers Danny and Jerry Tran opened Seaside Seafood at 4041 Jimmy Johnson Blvd. earlier this year.

  • Jennifer and Jonathan Barnett brought an east coast franchise, I Love Mac and Cheese, to Port Arthur earlier this year. It’s located at 3350 Jimmy Johnson Blvd.
  • Construction has continued on Seoul Food Korean BBQ and Restaurant after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a wait for equipment.

Tony Nguyen is the owner of the under-construction eatery located next to Saltgrass Steakhouse off U.S. 69.

  • The Pompano Club, once a designation for white tablecloth meals, brunches, club/organization meetings, parties, pool and bar and much more is making a comeback with new owners.

The owners are local businessmen Lance Bradley, Bert Lamson, Jon Carona, Robby Muse and Jill Pierce — owners of the Neches River Wheelhouse, bought the property and the recipes and are in the process of getting the site back up and running.

This list doesn’t even touch the tip of the iceberg in goings-on and openings in the Mid-County and Port Arthur.

There are industrial expansions all around us that will employ thousands of people and pump plenty of money into the local economy.

Hotels are being constructed to house people coming to the city, whether for work or play.

Lamar State College-Port Arthur has numerous projects ongoing to educate those going into the many careers available.

The year 2020 has been savage, we can agree on that, with lives lost, illnesses, unemployment and so on.

As we cheer while bidding farewell to 2020, we can also look at the positives that have come our way and look toward a bright future in 2021.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at mary.meaux@panews.com.