BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mary Mahoney's in Biloxi has more than its share of tales to tell. Take a turn with the owner, and you'll hear about how the restaurant has served locals, tourists, presidents and celebrities a like.
"If you're trying to impress somebody, what better than a beautiful courtyard, or the oldest documented structure in the city of Biloxi. It probably don't get any better than that," said owner Bobby Mahoney.
However, it may become a little more crowded, thanks to a travel article in the USA Today. The author, a free lance reporter with a soft spot for the Gulf Coast, calls Mary Mahoney's the best example of New Orleans style cuisine in or outside of the Big Easy itself, saying it was "cut from the same cloth as the Commander's Palace, Galatoire's or Arnaud's."
Mahoney was thrilled at such a high compliment.
"You can't get any better publicity than that," said Mahoney.
For many, the way to the heart is through the stomach and that's especially true at Mary Mahoney's. The owner hopes that national exposure like the one in the USA Today will help win over the hearts of tourists yet to come."
"I would just describe it as the quaintness of the restaurant and the fact that it's an old home and it's still family owned," said Jerri Schoeck, a first time Mahoney patron from Nebraska. "And the coast is just beautiful."
With a circulation of more than a million, the article has already brought in new customers.
"We would have probably not noticed this restaurant, but we looked it up on the Internet when we read the article, and then we saw the sign we immediately said, 'let's go there,'" said Maria Schafer who was visiting from Georgia with her husband.
The author of the travel article, Larry Olmsted, has also featured the Shed BBQ joint in a column that won a travel journalism award from former Governor Haley Barbour.