Iconic Ocean Springs restaurant planning to re-open its doors - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Iconic Ocean Springs restaurant planning to re-open its doors

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This Glenn Miller etching shows the original Henrietta's restaurant in downtown Ocean Springs. This Glenn Miller etching shows the original Henrietta's restaurant in downtown Ocean Springs.
The new restaurant will be open by February 22, 2013. The new restaurant will be open by February 22, 2013.
New co-owner Angela Vermillion and her father, Sam Cvitanovich New co-owner Angela Vermillion and her father, Sam Cvitanovich
Henrietta Savage Henrietta Savage
OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Early next year, a new chapter in the history of downtown Ocean Springs will be written. That's when Henrietta's Restaurant will re-open for the first time in 17 years.

The original Henrietta's opened in 1943, owned by Henrietta Savage, and her son Sam. Granddaughter Angela Vermillion is the new co-owner. So why re-open now? 

"One day Daddy told me that he missed it, and I said, 'I miss it too, Dad,'" Vermillion explained. "I want my generation of children, my sons, to grow up with what I had and the great legacy that I've been left."

According to Mr. Sammy, in its heyday, Henrietta's was the place to eat and talk.  

"Business people, the mayor, and the police department all came here," Sam Cvitanovich recalled.  "In fact, we fed the prisoners from our place."

There are some changes planned, like a whiskey bar named after Mr. Sammy, and an outside entertainment venue. But some things never change. 

Wayne Anglada will be the restaurant manager.  "I ate here in high school and younger and I'm looking forward to opening the place. It's going to be wonderful to be a part of such an institution in Ocean Springs," Anglada said.  

The original Henrietta's closed back in 1995, after more than five decades in operation. Even then, building standards weren't the same as they are now. Bringing the original building back up to modern standards is a very big job.

Daryl Ferguson is the contractor on the job. 

"We've torn out most of the old, rotten building and stuff on the inside, stuff that needed to be replaced and just bringing it all back up to code so it will be a good safe place to eat," Ferguson explained. 

The new restaurant will be open by February 22, 2013, which will be the 70th anniversary of the opening of the original Henrietta's.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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