Regular breakfast customers at McElroy’s Harbor House in Biloxi didn’t want to believe the red tape stretched across the entrance on Monday morning. They climbed the stairs to find the restaurant closed — but not for long.
Owner Mickey McElroy, who’s had more than his share of experience with hurricanes, said he believes he’ll be back open by Thursday.
“The majority of the restaurant is OK,” he said. Tables with views of Deer Island were set for guests and the outdoor furniture was back in place on the dining decks.
The damage was to the elevator and the lobby, where Hurricane Nate swirled through the open portion of the building over the steps and ripped down the ceiling.
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“Just another day on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” McElroy quips.
Before Hurricane Katrina destroyed the restaurant, it was at ground level in the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor and every storm brought damage.
After the water receded, they had to clean up, make repairs and paint. “We’d be shut down for a week,” he said.
Since Katrina, the restaurant was rebuilt on stilts, 29 feet in the air, greatly improving the views and keeping storm surge out.
It also makes an elevator important so customers don’t have to climb the steps to the restaurant.
Meanwhile, they’re sending customers to McElroy’s on the Bayou a few miles to the east in Ocean Springs, where there was no damage.