GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It was devastating news for many when Blow Fly Inn closed in May. However, the iconic restaurant re-opened Saturday with a retro menu and good reviews.
The comeback of the restaurant, which originally opened in 1955, has been well received.
"I was excited because we were riding down the road out there one day and we looked over and the sign was there and said they're opening the second of July," said Mason Nelson.
New owner Dr. Victor Bazzone says the success of the past will feed the success for the future.
"Most families who come here are at least three generations into it," Bazzone said. "So, in effect, we have success sort of built in."
Bazzone purchased the property in 1995 and leased it out. About a year ago, he and his brother, John, decided they wanted to manage restaurant and make it a family business.
When the last tenant closed in May, everyone lost their jobs - but not for long.
The Bazzone brothers were able to re-hire about 75 percent of the staff, including Betty Bourque, who has been working for Blow Fly for 30 years.
"I know most of the customers that come in," Bourque said. "I know all the girls that work here. You know, it's like home away from home. And this is my second family here."
The menu has gone back what it was in the mid-1970s with plenty of fried surf and hearty turf. It was met with good reviews, even for first-time diners.
"Everything was great. Service was great," said Jim Jones "The dessert was excellent."
It may be a new experience for the Bazzone brothers, but they say it's like coming home.
"The interesting thing is you go and you greet and you say hello to the people that are sitting there, and they all know us," said John Bazzone. "It's like they've been waiting for this."
The restaurant will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.