BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Popular restaurant opens second location, eyeing third site
Port City Cafe celebrated its grand opening in Biloxi Friday with colorful balloons and free ice cream.
"It's great food here," one customer commented.
You can still sit at the counter and enjoy an old-fashioned root beer float. For 40 years, the diner was known as Calvert's Pharmacy. Tom Atkinson has been a familiar face at the counter for the past 25 years.
"We wanted to be here for the opening anyway. We've supported them for all these years, so we continue to do so," said Atkinson.
When asked why he keeps coming back, Atkinson responded: "The quality of the food, just the home type cooking, and the tradition's being carried on from what I understand too."
Owner Ernest Ulrich has operated Port City Cafe in downtown Gulfport since June of 2000. He wanted to bring his recipe for success to Biloxi.
"I just felt like our menu and our home-cooked food is a need in Biloxi and we feel like it's a good fit. Up to this point it's been very good," said Ulrich.
Ulrich said business at the new Pass Road location has increased by 45-percent since the doors opened in early June. Ulrich plans to continue renovations at the diner, like replacing part of the pharmacy counter with a bar and installing new lights to remove the pharmacy atmosphere.
Expansion plans for Ulrich aren't over yet. He's looking at opening a third restaurant, and one site he's considering is the CTA Transit building in downtown Biloxi.
"Where the bus terminal is that just opened up, there's a restaurant there that we're looking at," said Ulrich. "I feel like that's an opportunity. Where ever there's a high traffic count, that's where we want to have restaurants at to serve hungry people."
Ulrich signed a ten-year lease for the Pass Road location. He says a third Port City Café could open possibly by the end of the year.