27th Avenue Bistro Closes In Downtown Gulfport

Gulfport (WLOX) -- David and Lacy Vickers thought they were opening the door to a promising future by investing in downtown Gulfport.

"We sunk every bit of the money we had into this project," says David Vickers.

Now, two years later, the kitchen is dark, chairs are empty and the Vickers are moving out of the 27th Avenue Bistro.  David Vickers says it's a move brought on by the lagging economy.

"To eat in this type of restaurant I consider that disposable income and people have to make a decision. They either put 100 dollars a week in that fuel tank or do they come out and have a good dinner," says Vickers.

But money wasn't the only factor making it hard to get diners in for dinner.

"It seemed like everybody just left at 5:00 p.m., and it was hard getting them back down here," says Vickers.

Vickers says by now, more should have been done, by the city, to give people a reason to flock downtown.

"It's disappointing to me that after three years we still have nothing down here.  I thought if Gulfport had an opportunity to do anything it would be now," says Vickers.

The Gulfport Mainstreet Association says although development is not moving quickly, it is steady. The group works with the city to help revitalize downtown Gulfport. The group's executive director, Lisa Bradley, says the closing of the restaurant does not reflect  the economic temperature of downtown.  Bradley says the closing was a personal decision made by the Vickers and dealt more with internal issues they were facing.

Though the doors are now closed, the Vickers say they're already getting calls to re-open possibly in Biloxi or Ocean Springs.