These businesses weren’t spared as Nate rolled through South Mississippi

Customers craving a hearty breakfast with a view at McElroy’s Harbor House or a frozen concoction at Margaritaville Resort Biloxi will have to wait until repairs are made from Hurricane Nate.

“We got water in the ground floor that affected some of the equipment,” said Cono Caranna, spokesman for Margaritaville Biloxi.

The resort is closed while crews are assessing the extent of the damage, he said Monday.

Storm surge came into the lower level of Margaritaville, the neighboring Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi and Hard Rock Casino Biloxi to the west late on Saturday night and early Sunday. These levels are lobbies for elevators and escalators and aren’t part of the operations area of the resorts and casino.

Water also got into the parking garages at some of the casinos, but all 12 across South Mississippi reopened Sunday after the Mississippi Gaming Commission gave the go-ahead at 11:30 a.m.

Regular breakfast customers at McElroy’s Harbor House in Biloxi didn’t want to believe the red tape stretched across the entrance 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.

“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, which had no damage from Nate.

Damage was reported at Mikey’s On the Bayou in Ocean Springs, where part of the roof of the restaurant on Washington Avenue was lost during the storm.

What looked like problems at the building site of Mugshots Grill & Bar on Main Street in Biloxi was just ripped construction paper.

“We were very fortunate,” owner Ron Savell said. “Patio 44 literally had zero damage,” he said. That restaurant is just south of the new Mughsots on Main Street. The other Mugshots in Biloxi, D’Iberville and Gulfport also had no damage and all are open for business, he said.

What did take a hit was employees’ tips on what otherwise would have been the last big night of Cruisin’ The Coast.

“This is a really big weekend for them revenue wise,” he said of his servers. The Cruisers went home early and the restaurant closed Saturday afternoon and remained closed Sunday to give employees time to repair any damage to their homes and yards.