Three Half Shell Oyster House restaurants have been extremely successful in South Mississippi and now the owners are ready to take on their next challenge. They’ll transform the former Lookout Steakhouse in downtown Gulfport into The Rackhouse Steaks & Spirits.
“We are thrilled to embark on this new project, just blocks from where we started Half Shell Oyster House,” said Bob Taylor, owner of Half Shell Oyster House and Gulf Coast Restaurant Group. “This community has been very generous to us, and we look forward to providing another premier restaurant destination.”
Remodeling, menu development and staffing will take about 90 days, and the target opening is February. The owners expect to hire 80 employees.
Named for the building where bourbon barrels are stored and aged, The Rackhouse will offer an extensive selection of bourbon, wine and other spirits. A mezzanine lounge will provide a setting for pre-dinner cocktails and after-work happy hour.
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Steaks will be the featured fare, including wet- and dry-aged prime and choice cuts. Also on the menu will be entrees such as lamb, veal, brisket, game, lobster and fresh fish dishes. Appetizers, side items and desserts will complement the entrée options, the owners said.
“The building has great character, with exposed brick and beautiful beams,” Taylor said. “We plan on enhancing the original features by adding new lighting and classic contemporary décor.”
Lookout Steakhouse moved to downtown Gulfport in 2011, but closed in October.
Half Shell Oyster House has a location in downtown Gulfport and two others in downtown Biloxi — on Lameuse Street and inside Hard Rock Casino Biloxi.
“We vow to provide the same level of freshness, quality and service that people have come to expect from our brand,” Taylor said.