A former day care center in Pass Christian is now busy pulling in the lunch crowds. The new business on North Street is among the only "sit down" restaurants now open in the Pass.
The place is attracting attention for its good food and unforgettable name.
It's just after eleven and the dining room is nearly full.
"Baked potato. You want your potato loaded?" the busy waitress asked, her pen quickly writing another lunch order.
Before the storm, the building on North Street would have been loaded with pre-schoolers, not hungry construction crews.
"This was Pass Christian Child Development Center. A little day care. And the storm took it out," explained owner Mike Holmes.
Katrina caused Holmes and wife Ginger to rethink their business plan. They quickly decided the storm-battered Pass would need places to eat. So, Kafe Katrina was born.
"It's going fantastic. We have a good lunch crowd every day. And I think everyone's enjoying the food and it's just really going great," said Holmes, over the steady clink of glasses and conversations of the lunch crowd.
Familiar faces, many of them construction workers, fill the place every lunch hour. Like the Tillman's from Tillman Construction.
"It's great. It's great food," said Don Tillman between bites, "A good place to sit down and rest."
"How many specials you got frying?" said one of the lunch hour kitchen helpers.
The kitchen crew embodies the Kafe Katrina motto: cooking up a storm.
"Need a baked potato, I've got an onion ring going down here," shouted the tall young man in the baseball cap. That's Josh Necaise directing the food traffic. He fully expected this place would be slammed.
"Yeah, with the only sit down restaurant in town, I really did expect it to be that busy. It really has been working out really good," said Necaise.
What's the old saying, strike while the fire is hot? Kafe Katrina is cooking and serving up a storm.
"Thank you, have a good afternoon and come back and see us," said Ginger Holmes, after ringing up another happy and full customer.
Kafe Katrina is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday. It also serves dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Along with the restaurant, the owners will soon open an adjoining lounge.