Location is said to be everything in real estate, and the new Live Oak Lounge in downtown Biloxi has that along with great timing.
The latest business from the Nicaud family sits directly across from Beau Rivage Resort & Casino and MGM Park. Live Oak Lounge — or LOL, as the owners call it — opened Aug. 10, just as Coast casinos begin offering legal sports betting and as the Biloxi Shuckers make a run for the second half championship.
The new venue already is finding its place in town, said Jourdan Nicaud, who owns this and several other businesses in South Mississippi with his uncle Lloyd Nicaud.
The bar at the corner of U.S. 90 and Caillavet Street sits atop Fill-Up with Billups restaurant, which is open 24/7.
LOL’s hours are from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., and Jourdan said casino workers pour in after their shifts, the lounge fills up after a Shuckers’ home game and after a concert at the casinos or Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
In Mississippi, sports betting is allowed only at casinos, but this new lounge was built to get in the game, he said. He envisions customers going across the street to place a sports bet at the Beau Rivage and and then watching the game with friends at LOL.
“That’s our goal,” Jordan Nicaud said.
“They need to hurry up and get the crossover done,” said Lloyd Nicaud. A pedestrian crosswalk is under construction just to the west that will make it easier and safer to cross the busy highway.
Fill-Up with Billups opened March 5 with the intention of adding a lounge on the upper floor, Lloyd said, and before anyone knew the U.S. Supreme Court would overturn the ban on sports betting two months later.
Business on the Coast always slows after Cruisin’ The Coast in early October, Lloyd said, but he expects football and other sports will make Biloxi busy all year.
To accommodate the sports fans, television screens are visible throughout the new lounge that combines the sleek industrial look of exposed ducts and beams, along with casual, comfortable couches arranged in conversation areas and glitzy chandeliers.
TVs also hung outdoors for those who prefer to sit on the deck and watch the action sheltered by the branches of the old Live oak trees wrapped with white lights.
The bar features 25 craft beers, some of them on tap, along with a list of specialty cocktails like the LOL martini topped with champagne.
The Nicaud family also operates Hotel Pass Christian and three locations of Bacchus restaurants in Biloxi, Pass Christian and Oxford. In addition to Charred restaurant in Ocean Springs, they will add a second Charred in Madison on Sept. 1 and another at the end of the year in Pass Christian.
They opened Billups with partners Guy and Hattie Billups to give Biloxi a restaurant where they can get breakfast anytime, Lloyd Nicaud said. Customers can go downstairs to the restaurant to eat, he said, or order eggs, wings, the signature cinnamon roll waffle or other items on the menu and eat them on the deck or in the lounge.
Live Oak Lounge is closed Sundays, but that may change, he said. The pair also is looking at adding a ladies’ night midweek, entertainment on Saturdays and a kickoff party for the start of football season.