It’s hidden now by shutters and plywood, but by late spring, 111 Main St. in Bay St. Louis will be the home of a new Italian restaurant with a beer garden in the back and a brick oven worthy of envy.
Corks & Cleaver Italian Bistro is expected to open in early June, said chef David Dickensauge, whose name also is associated with Corks & Cleaver Wine Bistro and 27th Avenue Burger Bar in Gulfport and Brackish Seafood in Long Beach. His business partners in this endeavor are Jim Parish, who owns the Main Street building, and David Woodward, a chef consultant.
The building most recently was home to Old Cuevas Bistro, which closed in early January. Corks & Cleaver Italian Bistro will take advantage of more space available, Parish said.
“Originally it was a 2,800-square-foot restaurant,” he said. “We’ll have an additional 1,700 square feet for private dining and receptions, contiguous to the dining area, and we’ll also have an outdoor beer garden, which will be about 1,900 square feet in the back.”
The added dining space also can open up to the regular dining area to seat 60 more, he said. The project’s architect is Leah Watters of Pass Christian.
As for the menu, Dickensauge said the restaurant will offer “true Italian food” with ingredients that are “all local and farm sourced.” Handmade pasta will be a hallmark, he said, and the restaurant will have the same type of brick oven as James Beard Award–winning Shaya in New Orleans.
“It will be an eclectic menu,” he added, “similar to the foodie menu we have at Corks & Cleaver but in an Italian way.”
Dickensauge, a Gulfport native, worked with an Italian chef in Chicago and did an eight-month apprenticeship in Italy. His first job was at New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace in the mid-1990s.