GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Downtown Gulfport is becoming a hot spot for its eateries and nightlife. The bright lights and new facade is attracting people every night. Owners and customers are thrilled with how popular the downtown area has become.
As night falls, the streets of downtown Gulfport are lit up, and restaurants and bars are open for business.
Alexine Wright said, "Downtown Gulfport reminds me so much of Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee."
As you walk down the street, you are surrounded with food, drinks and companionship.
"You're able to just walk with friends, and see the various restaurants and bars and grills that they have centering Highway 49. It just really brings that party you know, laid back atmosphere for those who are say 25 and older looking for a nice quiet peaceful yet fun place to hang out," said Wright.
The downtown is full of options, you can surround yourself with the melody of a piano and explore a British pub scene.
Donald Welch said, "Just to see people walking the streets at night time. They'll come in from The Quarter. They'll come in from the EO Club. Some will come in before dinner for a cocktail some will come in after dinner and it's just great to see people doing that."
Welch owns Watson's Piano Bar he said the nightlife is full of radiant energy. He said being in between other unique attractions doesn't hurt.
"I'm one of four things right here, and we knew all along that we could create a synergy that we'd feed off of one another. When one closes, they kind of migrate to another one," said Welch.
Welch thinks the new facade along Highway 49 has helped draw the crowds in, too.
"It's been good, and it's only going to get better," said Welch.
Half Shell Oyster House Restaurant Manager John Cuivello said people dine in his restaurant for fresh shucked oysters and other coast favorites.
Cuivello said, "We've got a great nightlife with the addition of a couple of other bars and restaurants around here. We've just been doing really well lately."
"It's evident that everyone is working really hard to bring back that pizzazz," said Wright.
Welch added, he hopes more restaurants and bars will see the beauty of downtown Gulfport and make it their new home.