Business

Crave a Mugshots burger? Now head to East Biloxi.

A new Mugshots Grill & Bar is open on Main Street in Biloxi and more businesses will follow in the downtown next year.
A new Mugshots Grill & Bar is open on Main Street in Biloxi and more businesses will follow in the downtown next year. meperez@sunherald.com

Mugshots Grill & Bar has moved from Edgewater Village in west Biloxi to a new indoor/outdoor restaurant on Main Street in downtown Biloxi.

In addition to the dining room and bar, the 7,000-square-foot building has a dining deck overlooking that area of downtown and toward the waterfront.

Mugshots was founded in January 2004 when Chris McDonald and Ron Savell opened the first restaurant on a tight budget in Hattiesburg. Since then, the organization has expanded and branched out, and 18 Mugshots locations now are found throughout Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

On Friday, Savell announced that he acquired the operations of all Mugshots Grill & Bar franchises under his company, Chers Restaurant Group, based in Hattiesburg. Franchise owners will benefit from company branding and the streamlined resources, he said, which will strengthening their long-term success.

Plans are in place for two additional Mugshots Grill & Bar locations in Pearl, outside of Jackson, and in Allen, Texas, just north of Dallas.

“Branching into Texas will bring branding recognition into a new region for us,” Savell said.

McDonald will focus on growing Glory Bound Gyro Co. and Topher’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Grill, their two other restaurant brands. McDonald also will grow his nonprofit organization, Making Life Grand, and put together another round of company-sponsored mission trips.

“Mugshots was a great opening act for my career,” he said. “I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to take a little funky bar on Fourth Street.”

Savell and his team have “a great base to take the brand to a national platform,” he said

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich and Councilman George Lawrence were the first to eat at the new downtown Biloxi restaurant.

“We’re definitely excited about this new addition to our growing downtown lineup,” Gilich said.

Mugshots is a significant investment just north of the Savell’s Patio 44, he said, and other restaurants are opening in the downtown and two new hotels are under construction in the same block.

“These are just a few signs of the things to come in downtown Biloxi, and we’ll be seeing more in 2018,” Gilich said.

Eleven years after Hurricane Katrina, there are still lots of empty lots but development is coming and spreading down the beach.

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