Chef David Dickensauge is stirring things up on the Coast restaurant scene, closing his restaurant in Gulfport next week and opening a Corks & Cleaver restaurant in Bay St. Louis next month.
That doesn’t mean the Gulfport native is abandoning his hometown. The lease is up on the building on 27th Avenue. While it’s a cool old building in the downtown, he said, dining is on two levels and he’s looking for a location that better suits his customers.
He and his father, David Dickensauge Sr., already are talking to someone about a new location — right in the downtown area of Gulfport.
“We intend to open back in Gulfport by February or March of next year,” he said.
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His loyal customers still have this week and next to get a parting taste of Corks & Cleaver Wine Bistro before it closes on May 27 with a “farewell but not goodbye” dinner.
He’ll keep open the nearby 27th Avenue Burger Bar at 1308 27th Ave.
The new Corks & Cleaver Italian Bistro at 111 Main St. in Bay St. Louis, in what was the former Old Cuevas Bistro, opens by early- to mid-June.
With his Gulfport restaurant on hiatus, he’ll have the opportunity to get the new restaurant off to a strong start. All the staff at the Gulfport location will move to Bay St. Louis, and Dickensauge said they’ll hire about 10 more. The same staff will remain at the Burger Bar.
He’s equipping the Bay bistro with a unique brick fire pizza oven that only two other places in the South have and a pasta extractor to turn out fresh pasta for eight to 12 dishes he creates.
“We won’t serve any pasta we’re not making,” he said.
The pasta will be paired with a great wine list and a beer garden will sprawl at the back of the restaurant.
His friend Joshua Duke, owner of Olive or Twist in Baton Rouge and winner of Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, will be coming to craft cocktails for the new restaurant.
Dickensauge brought his accomplishments and reputation for great food back home to South Mississippi after cooking at top restaurants around the country and in Italy. He was named a Best Chef in Louisiana in 2015.
“I actually moved back home to open this restaurant in Gulfport,” he said. In the two years Corks & Cleaver has been open, he said he’s fed the homeless, honored firefighters and supported the creation of Fishbone Alley in the downtown.
Now he’s ready to show what he can do in the Bay.