Redevelopment projects are in the works all over the coast and the city of Biloxi is getting in on the action.
Half Shell Oyster House is expanding with a second location right in the heart of the city. City officials say the move fits right in with redevelopment plans in the works for the downtown area.
"The markets are starting to come back, the insurance markets are getting better. The construction, real estate market is getting better," said David Staehling with the City of Biloxi. "We're starting to see a lot of reinvestment and this is a classic statement of a quad A development."
With the Gulfport restaurant already a booming success, Half Shell Oyster House Owner Bob Taylor said opening a new location in Biloxi just seemed like the right thing to do.
"We just had to try it out," Taylor said. "Gulfport was so good to us, Biloxi has been very good. We're excited to be out here and I think we're going to hit it off."
Construction of this new location has been in the works since January, and now that the project is complete the business owner couldn't be happier with the final product. The new location incorporates all the traditional elements of the Half Shell Oyster House brand with a more spacious building to boot.
"We seat about 160 people, where Gulfport seats about 105, so we're excited to have a bigger place," Taylor said.
With all that added space, there was plenty of room for new jobs. In all, the new location is responsible for creating over 140 new jobs. That's something waitress April Harper is excited about.
"Of course job creation is a good thing," Harper said. "We all need jobs and this is a really great one to have. The Gulf Coast is coming back full blown and we are going to bring in a lot a lot of guests."
So as redevelopment plans for downtown continue to move forward, this restaurant is another example of how the coast is bouncing back.
The restaurant is officially open for business. You can find it on the corner of Lemeuse and Water Street.