BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Business owners betting on the future of East Biloxi may face challenges along the way. However, those willing to invest are confident in the long term future of The Point.
Montgomery, Alabama, physician Dr. Felix Allen is set to re-open the waterfront restaurant formerly known as "The Hook-Up" as "The Biloxi Lugger" on Friday.
Allen has a strong connection with "The Point".
"He said to me that as you get older, you want to return to your roots. He grew up on Oak Street. His childhood home was washed away by Hurricane Camille. His family predominately is still living around the area. A lot of them are still shrimpers," said restaurant manager, Joel Mize.
Dr. Allen shrimps as a hobby and his fresh catch will help supply his new restaurant. Visitors are welcome to tour the shrimp boat, docked behind the restaurant.
"We want this to be the local spot. I mean, the reason we're doing what we're doing is to bring that hometown flavor back to the point on Biloxi," says Mize.
Maw Maw's Resale Shop opened on Oak Street in January.
"Odds and ends. Antiques. Just a little bit of everything," said owner, Brenda Lyons.
Everything, that is, except customers. Ongoing roadwork has proven quite frustrating for many business owners.
"Very tough when the roads are closed and you can't get traffic in and out and they block the roads. And the mud, the water. The biggest thing is letting people know we are down on this part of town," Lyons explained.
"We're excited to be here in East Biloxi and help the point come back. Business has been good this year, and we look forward to more," said Jerry Adkerson, the manager of the Biloxi Boardwalk Marina.
Adkerson says while nearby roadwork may be a temporary obstacle; a project called the Bayview Loop could provide a major economic boost.
"East Biloxi, or Point Cadet, is going to just grow up immediately when this road comes through and based on all the developments that are underway now, and of course all of Back Bay, eventually from I-110 all the way to Highway 90 should be major developed," said Adkerson.
Business owners will be dealing with nearby roadwork for some time. The infrastructure work in East Biloxi is scheduled to continue for another two and a half years.