Gulfport restaurant celebrates 50 years in business - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport restaurant celebrates 50 years in business

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

By Doug Walker – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Outside, the Palace Grill looks like any another family run restaurant.  Inside is where the difference lies, with an entire wall filled with 50 years of memories and good times.

In the kitchen, 80-year-old Don Parks outworks many people half his age, preparing a feast for the afternoon lunch crowd. He says it's a labor of love. 

"I love the restaurant; I love the working, and I have no plans on retiring really," Don said. 

His wife Shirley stays busy, as well, delivering the home cooked meals to tables of hungry customers. If you're sensing a theme here, Shirley says you're right.

"It's a lot of fun," Shirley said. "We still enjoy the people and just being around here." 

There is never a lack of activity at the Palace Grill as employees scurry about, doing anything that needs to be done to put smiles on the customers faces and satisfy their appetites.

One of those customers is Donald Dedeaux, who has been coming through the doors for more than 20 years and doesn't plan on stopping.

"It's kind of a meeting place for lunch every day. And I enjoy being around the customers here, and I have a lot of friends," Dedeaux said. "Usually this table is full, and I know everybody's name, and everybody has been coming here a long time."  

Drawing customers into this historic downtown Gulfport business has never been a problem.  The reason, according to Don Parks, is that the eating habits have been passed down from generation to generation. 

"We have a lot of friends and the older friends brought their kids in, and now, they're bringing their kids in. So it's kind of a cycle there." 

Even though Don and Shirley run the show, the Palace Grill is a family affair. Several of their children and in-laws are involved in serving up some of the finest home cooking on the coast.

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