Restaurant closes, owners blame oil disaster

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - The sign for "Mikey's Café and Oyster House" still hangs on the building on Central Avenue, but smaller signs on the door announce that the restaurant is no longer in business.

"It was sad, sad. I hate it because it was such a nice restaurant," said owner Karen Adams. "Since the oil spill, it started going down big, real big."

Karen Adams and her family opened "Mikey's Café and Oyster House" in D'Iberville, along with its sister restaurant "Mikey's on the Bayou" in St. Martin three years ago.

Adams said both restaurants featured mostly seafood dishes and their customers constantly crave oysters on-the-half-shell. The D'Iberville restaurant alone served up to 700 dozen raw oysters a week.

But Adams said supplies have been scarce.

"We've been without oysters probably for two months, off and on," she said.

Seafood prices also shot up. Adams said it was not easy closing one of its restaurants and letting four employees go.

"The sales started going down then. I think people are leery of eating seafood. We tried hard to hold on to it and just couldn't," said Adams.

The Adams family has no plans to reopen the D'Iberville restaurant. Instead it wants to focus its attention on its St. Martin restaurant and make some changes to help boost business.

"We're hoping maybe to do a few nights where children eat free. Maybe add a few different dishes," said Adams.

But their toughest challenge is to change people's minds about seafood safety.

"I hope all this mess with the oil spill will just go away where people won't be afraid anymore to go to seafood restaurants and have what they've loved all along," said Adams.

Two cooks and two servers at the D'Iberville restaurant lost their jobs. Two other employees were transferred to the St. Martin location. The owners say they have filed a BP claim, but so far, they have not received any payments.

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