Coast restaurants battling recession

By David Elliott – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The unstable economy is taking a bite out of restaurant business in South Mississippi. But the situation on the coast is not as bad as what is being seen in other parts of the state.

According to the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association (MHRA), revenue is down up to 15 percent statewide.

"It's not as bad on the coast, but restaurant owners everywhere are scared," said MHRA President Scott Weinberg.

Weinberg owns the Blow Fly Inn and has seen business drop, especially during the evening hours. Over at Lil' Rays in Gulfport, David Kidd is holding his own.

"It's inconsistent. We have good days and bad days," Kidd said.

According to Weinberg, restaurants across America have experienced 17 consecutive months of sinking revenue.

"We have to tough it out. Some will not make it," Weinberg said. "People who are good operators should survive."

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.