New owners for the Newsstand hope to preserve Sullivan history
Photo by KRISTI SANDERS
The Newsstand staff and local residents celebrated its new owners with the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday with a ribbon cutting. Pictured are, from left, Sullivan County Auditor Shelley Parris, chamber member Madison Boston-Weszely, Sullivan County Surveyor Cheryl Waterman, Sullivan County Commissioner John Waterman Sr., chamber member Michelle Prose, Kelli Cole, Sullivan County Prosecutor Ann Mischler, John Kristler, Sullivan County Clerk Tonya Bedwell, owner Jessika Hane, Bethany Wheaton, owner Connie Mize, Sullivan County Recorder Beth Swalls, Chamber President John Montgomery, manager Taylor Hayes, cook Shelley Shields, cook Samantha Stone, owner Brian Hane, waitress Breanna Lighthizer, worker Mike Kauffman, owner Chuck Mize, chamber member Gina Mills, chamber member C.J. Rhoads, chamber member Rachelle Hollinshead, chamber member Billie Kaufman and Sullivan Mayor Clint Lamb.
The Newsstand is here to stay after four new owners bought the restaurant before it would close.
It looked like it was nearing its end when a local husband and wife, plus some business partners, decided to breathe new life into the diner style restaurant.
The new owners are Connie and Chuck Mize and Jessika and Brian Hane. Chuck Mize, a Merom resident, remembers the Newsstand growing up. The original Newsstand opened in 1947.
“Everybody hung out at the Newsstand and it sort of became the spot that everybody went,” Mize said. “I actually talked to my father about it before we bought it and he said ‘even when I was a kid … the Newsstand was where everybody hung out.’”
This isn’t the first business that Mize and his wife own.
“We have started other businesses here in town and we came here to eat lunch,” Mize said. “Some of the girls (workers at the Newsstand) said ‘why don’t you buy this place?’”
The owner at the time wasn’t going to be able to keep the restaurant open.
“We wanted to preserve it, we weren’t necessarily looking for something to make money with,” Mize said. “We thought this will maintain itself, we just need to come and do a few things, upgrade a few things and it will run itself.”
Brian Hanes has been a business partner with Mize in the past and when Mize explained the situation of the restaurant, Hanes agreed to help. Mize did point out that it will be the staff who runs the day-to-day operations of the restaurant with manager Taylor Hayes.
“We are just the owners who come in and help out if needed,” Mize said.
Hayes has worked at the Newsstand for about three years and she is excited about where the restaurant will go.
“They have done so much stuff already for this place,” Hayes said. “It needed it badly.”
Hayes said this is an important part of Sullivan history and she is glad to be a part of it.
“It is just a huge icon,” Hayes said. “I can’t even imagine if this place closed down. I mean there are so many people in here … for the next generation to come, hopefully, it will just keep repeating itself.”
The new owners will be making a few changes but they say to watch the Newsstand Facebook page to see any updates that are coming.
“It is a piece of downtown Sullivan that we wanted to see stay,” Mize said.