By Elizabeth Vowell – email
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The economy may be slow, but that isn't stopping this businessman from moving forward.
"We've got great food and a great atmosphere. It couldn't be better so we're going to try for a second one," said primary Gulf Coast Restaurant Group owner Bob Taylor.
Taylor is working to add a second Half Shell Oyster House restaurant in downtown Biloxi, just two blocks from the Hard Rock Casino. He hopes that bringing in a new business will encourage others to do the same.
"I'm really excited about Biloxi because there's not much down here. We hope that by us opening up, more folks will come join us," said Taylor.
Located in the old Regions Bank building on LeMeuse Street, this new Half Shell will be almost double the size of the original.
However, the project has some challenges ahead. In addition to a slow economy, gulf seafood is still struggling to overcome its oily image, and that doesn't help the Half Shell's seafood menu.
"The oil spill hurt everybody. There's still doubt out there whether the seafood is safe. It really is," said Taylor.
Taylor hopes that the second location will draw in a whole new group of customers from the east end of the Mississippi coast.
"I think we're filling a niche by opening up down here that is not being filled and that is kind of the goal," said Taylor.
According to Taylor the new restaurant will hire around 90 people. He hopes to open by February.