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Josette’s transformation among good things happening in downtown Biloxi

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:21 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Construction projects all over downtown Biloxi are creating a lot of excitement. Over the last several years, city leaders have worked to make downtown more than just a casino destination.

When Jourdan Nicaud talks about downtown Biloxi, he lights up.

“What’s going on on Biloxi now is really awesome,” he said on Wednesday. “What they’re doing on Howard Avenue is really just awesome. That whole area is really starting to come together.”

Restaurateur and developer Jourdan Nicaud’s 902 Howard Avenue project is renovating the old Josette’s building into 21 apartments with a restaurant plus retail space.

It’s among the growing list of projects in the area.

Take a walk down Howard Avenue through The District and you might think the motto is ‘coming soon’ based on the banners hanging. Biloxi has worked for years to join other Coast cities in transforming downtown into a bustling center. It has been a slow boil in Biloxi, that is starting to really heat up.

“They have the whole synergy really just coming along. they’ve got a bunch of new restaurants opening up,” Nicaud said.

One of those is Martini’s, just west of Nicaud’s building. It opened five months ago serving drinks and high-end bar food.

The Martini's logo is reflected in an image of Humphrey Bogart at the recently opened Biloxi bar.
The Martini's logo is reflected in an image of Humphrey Bogart at the recently opened Biloxi bar.(John Fitzhugh)

“We had pretty good expectations, but it’s been 50 to 100% better than we could have imagined,” said head chef Mathew Stuart. “It has just been an incredible journey so far. A lot of good turnouts every night. It’s better than we could have ever expected.”

The announcement of Ground Zero blues club in The District on Howard has upped the ante and excitement about Downtown Biloxi getting closer to its goal of becoming a walkable, multi-use area.

That is what Nicaud is shooting for.

“You get some apartments, people living downtown and it really starts to feed because you’ve got people live there, and they go out to more restaurants, they start hanging out, they go to more bars and it becomes more of a whole city and less of just a destination, which we’re really excited about,” he said.

Stuart said their success is proof.

“Everyone I speak to, they’re loving it, there’s a lot of Stuff coming to downtown Biloxi here very soon in the coming year. And we’re happy to be on the ground floor of that being a big part of the growth of downtown Biloxi.”

Nicaud said he plans to have his apartments and restaurant open in January. His brother is renovating the old Magnolia Motel in Vieux Marche into Field’s Steak and Oyster Bar with plans to open in April.

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