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ASHLAND — Two new restaurants have been announced for the Camp Landing Entertainment District in Boyd County, Kentucky. Camp Landing Entertainment District is located at the site of the former KYOVA Mall.

Smokin J’s Rib & Brewhouse is a barbecue and ribeye restaurant that will relocate inside the restaurant space that was previously Callihan’s.

Jason Camp, with the 3J Group that owns Camp Landing, said they are currently doing remodeling work at the site.

“We have experienced such growth at our location in Boyd County that it just makes sense to move into a much larger space to accommodate that growth,” Camp said. “We will be bringing the same great taste that our customers expect but adding some new flavors as well. We believe this is going to be a great marriage here at Camp Landing, giving our patrons the option of seeing a movie before or after dinner and all the other attractions here at the entertainment district. We couldn’t be happier to have Malibu Jack’s as our new neighbor.”

Camp said the restaurant will be open around the same time as Malibu Jack’s, “Just in time for the holidays,” he said, but did not give an exact date. Camp said the current Smokin’ J’s location in Ashland will be open every day until the week of relocation.

Backyard Pizza & Raw Bar, which has a location in downtown Huntington, announced it will build a second location at Camp Landing in the former RJ Kahunas’ space.

Owners Drew and Megan Hetzer said they are thrilled about the expansion.

“The space is a perfect spot for Backyard,” Drew Hetzer said. “We have a large customer base from this area that comes to eat at our Huntington location.”

“This will bring us closer to them and give us patio space for outside dining,” Megan Hetzer said.

Drew Hetzer said they will give the space a major overhaul and remodel that he says lives up the standard set by his other establishments.

“You can expect the wood-fired gourmet pizzas to be hitting tables sometime in the early spring,” he said.

Smokin J’s and Backyard Pizza join Malibu Jack’s, The Cinema at Camp Landing, Boyd County Convention Center, Sports Plex, Farmer’s Market and several other attractions coming to the Camp Landing Entertainment District.

GUMBO STOP CAFE OPENS AT HERITAGE STATION: Last week, the Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce conducted a ribbon cutting for Gumbo Stop Cafe, an authentic Cajun and Creole restaurant located at Heritage Station in Huntington.

The new cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed on Sunday and Monday. It is also open for special events at Heritage Station.

For more information about Gumbo Stop Cafe, visit their Facebook page or call 304-654-2240.

CATO OPENING IN BARBOURSVILLE: Cato will open its store in Barboursville on Thursday, Nov. 11, the company announced in a press release.

The store is located in Merritt Creek Farm, near Target, at Big Ben Bowen Highway and Merrick Creek Road.

Cato is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced women’s fashion apparel, jewelry, shoes and accessories offering exclusive fashions in the newest styles, colors and fabrics. The stores feature fashion styles in sizes 2 to 28, according to the release.

“With exclusive styles, on-trend fashions and low prices every day, our customers can always find their statement of style while enjoying their shopping experience at Cato. We are excited about the opening of our store in Barboursville,” John Cato, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in the release.

Zebrina Hartley of Huntington will manage the new store. She has been with Cato for three years. As store manager, Hartley’s responsibilities will include assisting customers in wardrobe selection and creating an easy shopping experience with color-coordinated visual presentations.

The Cato Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of value-priced women’s fashion apparel and accessories operating three concepts — Cato, Versona and It’s Fashion — with more than 1,300 stores in 30 states. There are 12 Cato stores located throughout West Virginia.

Additional information on The Cato Corporation is available at

Fred Pace is the business reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Send your business news and photos to You can also call 304-526-2729. Follow him at and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

Fred has been in the newspaper industry for 30+ years. He continues to be excited to bring readers news that only comes thru local journalism. “Being able to share the passion felt by entrepreneurs in our community with readers is exciting,” he said.

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