Biloxi's restaurant population exploding - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi's restaurant population exploding

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

If you're hungry for southern cuisine, Biloxi now offers a menu of tasty options. You've probably noticed more and more restaurants are popping-up from one end of the city to the other.

Crews just finished pouring the concrete slab, and the next step is to erect this pile of steel. McElroy's Restaurant is finally returning to the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor.

Owner of McElroy's Mickey McElroy said, "The view will be simply amazing because it'll be up so high. It's going to be a very impressive building going up."

Mickey McElroy has worked hard to bring the restaurant back to Biloxi. After all, so many memories were created here before Katrina washed the landmark away.

"I found out after the storm that this one got married, and this is where they came right before they went on their honeymoon, celebrated their anniversary," McElroy said. "It became everybody's restaurant."

McElroy's will join some new neighbors on the beach-front like 'Hog Heaven BBQ and Blues Restaurant.'

Others have discovered Biloxi to be a tempting place to expand. There's Shaggy's from Pass Christian, Half Shell Oyster House of Gulfport and now Port City Cafe.

"When you look at the Gulf Coast, all of the over-saturated places, you look at Orange Grove, jeezum, They got restaurants everywhere," Port City Cafe owner Ernest Ulrich said. "Look at D'Iberville. Then you look at Biloxi, and Biloxi's just sitting there and to me. It's just a wide open market, and we're excited about it."

After 11 years in downtown Gulfport, Ulrich opened his second location on Pass Road in west Biloxi back in June.

Last month, Ulrich signed a ten-year lease on this CTA building in downtown Biloxi for a third Port City Cafe.

"There's an opportunity for more restaurants here in Biloxi, and I think the people, our Pass Road store is doing very well," Ulrich said. "They support us very well over there, and I'm sure the downtown will be the same way.

And Mickey McElroy believes he'll receive a warm welcome when McElroys opens its doors early next year.

"I'm excited about it. Everybody asks me that, and I said my first statement was, 'I'll be excited when I'm sitting up there watching the people come in and enjoy themselves,'" McElroy said.

McElroy's is expected to be finished by February of next year. And the Port City Cafe in downtown Biloxi is scheduled to open in less than two weeks.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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