It's a grand reopening more akin to a family reunion, and it's a promise kept by the family owned and operated Mary Mahoneys French House Restaurant in Biloxi.
"Oh yeah, we were serious," says owner Bobby Mahoney. "Like I say, we didn't have a lot of structural damage so you have wall's and you have ceilings, that's about 90 percent of it right there."
Surroundings that have become lovingly familiar to their loyal customers. Customers like Elda Williams, an childhood friend of founder Mary Mahoney, and a regular for more than 40 years.
"Having it back means we're getting more back to normal," says Williams.
The Storm surge took so many Biloxi beach front Landmarks.
"Beauvoir's still there," says Mahoney, pointing to the murals of landmarks that survived Katrina's flood waters. "The Church of the Redeemer's gone. That's the French House. Tullis Manor's gone. The Shoo Fly's gone."
And it left it's mark on Mary Mahoneys. The bar, the kitchen, and many of the windows are new, and so is the lay out of what used to be their Irish Pub.
"We're going to probably going to do away with our little pub and just make that whole thing cafe," says Mahoney. "Because it looks like there's going to be a need on this end of town for a little more restaurant space."
It remains a work in progress, and Mahoney admits it's been a frantic effort to get to this point.
"Them 9 weeks I was off I didn't have no stress. I was sort of floating like a butterfly."
But it was well worth the effort to give a little bit of old Biloxi back to those who need it most.
"Now we're getting back to what we do. And everybody's happy that we're open."
by Don Culpepper
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