Schooner Anchors Rebuilt Restaurant In Downtown Biloxi - - The News for South Mississippi

Schooner Anchors Rebuilt Restaurant In Downtown Biloxi

Joe Lancon never bought insurance for his back bay restaurant.

"I never dreamed in a million years the Ole Schooner would wash away, actually," he said.

Once it did, Lancon knew he had to move off the water. He found a spot in the middle of downtown Biloxi.

"This was the only building I had left out of about eight buildings I own," the restaurant owner said.

It happened to be on Howard Avenue, directly across from Nativity BVM Church.

"I tell everybody the old Schooner had a view of a Palace. The new Schooner has a view of a cathedral," he laughed. "It's really a beautiful view I think."

Wednesday was the new Schooner's opening day. Poboys were once again on the menu. And scenes showcasing Biloxi's culture were on newly painted walls.

"When you walk in, you feel like you're walking into the past," Lancon described.

Much of that feeling comes from the vaulted ceiling, and the checkerboard floor that give the Howard Avenue restaurant a unique, turn of the century look.

"You know what, I miss the old location. But I love the new location," said Lancon.

If the lunchtime crowd was any indication, customers were just as enamored with Joe Lancon's decision to anchor the Schooner across from a church, in the heart of downtown Biloxi.

"I feel like in my heart, I'm just doing my little bit to help Biloxi come back," he said.

The Schooner's grand opening is an example of how Biloxi businesses are trying to rebuild in the aftermath of Katrina. Statistics compiled on the city's web page since last September indicate Biloxi has issued more than 6,700 commercial building permits.

by Brad Kessie

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