Proud of East Texas: The Dinner Bell - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Proud of East Texas: The Dinner Bell

By Joan Hallmark

The town of Van in Van Zandt County, only has 2.632 residents. But when it comes to Christmas, Van's "Dinner Bell" café outshines most big city restaurants . Debbie Stone took over the Dinner Bell from her mother and aunt thirty four years ago. Thirty years ago she started decorating the business with handmade decorations that made her restaurant a landmark at Christmas time. Debbie's mother, Leta Chaney, makes all the stuffed animals in the displays and keeps her three sewing machines going from September until ten days before Thanksgiving when the decorations go up.Three storage buildings behind the Dinner Bell hold decorations from the past.

In appreciation for Debbie's efforts to make Christmas special, the Van City Council has officially named this Christmas Eve "Dinner Bell Day." The Dinner Bell, located in downtown Van, is open Monday through Saturday from 5a.m. To 8p.m., and Sundays from 5am to 2pm.


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