Downtown Ocean Springs Attracts New Businesses - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/04/03

Downtown Ocean Springs Attracts New Businesses

While many downtown business districts face the challenge of filling empty buildings and eliminating eyesores, that's not the case in Ocean Springs.

Merchants along Washington Avenue and nearby Government Street enjoy a success that makes them the envy of downtown business owners in other cities.

What's so special about downtown Ocean Springs?

WLOX News decided to find out.

The Mohler family certainly knows downtown Ocean Springs. They've been successful business owners for decades.

"The local merchants have done a wonderful job of inviting people in. Opening their doors. The city's done a good job of keeping it clean, keeping the streets up, the sidewalks up. And it's just a quaint little town," said Jeff "Bitty" Mohler.

His quaint gas station is changing with the times. Service bays are giving way to a new deli. Expect the grand opening early next year.

"Pressed po boys, soups, salads, pizza, and scooped ice cream," said Mohler.

Down the street, familiar burgers will top the menu. The owners of Burger, Burger in Biloxi decided Ocean Springs is the logical choice for a second location.

"Especially downtown Ocean Springs with the traffic and the businesses that we have around here. We wanted to give them an old fashioned feeling with an old fashioned burger. And yet make it reasonable and close for them to come to. So, Government and Washington seemed to be the right place for it," said Roy Borghesi.

A half block down Government Street there's a business transformation underway. An old appliance store will be turned into a new bakery. And right next door to that, a paint your own pottery store.

Paul Weaver is moving his business to the west wing of the building.

"Right here. We're going to be on the ground level. So, we're real excited about it," said Weaver, as he toured the construction site.

He's moving his art gallery and studio. "Under Canvas" has done well in its first year of business in a second story loft. Moving to the ground level promises even more success.

"There's a quaintness and a charm about the feeling of shopping downtown. And a lot of people like coming downtown," he said.

People like visiting downtown Ocean Springs, and merchants are more than happy to welcome their business.

By Steve Phillips 

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