Business

New Southern restaurant in Biloxi follows a $26 million week

MARY PEREZ/SUN HERALD 
 A home on Howard Avenue in Biloxi will be transformed into Southport Line restaurant that will feature favorite Coast dishes and highlight the history of the trolleys that once ran along the Coast.
MARY PEREZ/SUN HERALD A home on Howard Avenue in Biloxi will be transformed into Southport Line restaurant that will feature favorite Coast dishes and highlight the history of the trolleys that once ran along the Coast.

BILOXI -- Building permits for two projects totaling more than $26 million were issued last week by Biloxi's Community Development Department -- the $23.9 million Biloxi Junior High School on Jam Lane and the $2.1 million Patio 44 restaurant off Main Street.

This week brought plans for a new restaurant that will serve Southern cooking and a helping of Biloxi history.

On Wednesday, the city's Development Review Committee got a first look at Southport Line, a restaurant brothers Joshua and Curtis Schmitt plan to open in a home at 647 Howard Avenue. The building, at the eastern end of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, will be renovated with the look of old Biloxi. It will have seating indoors and outside on a new dining deck.

Photographs and signs will recall the days when trolleys traveled along the South Mississippi coastline.

The restaurant will be open for lunch or dinner daily and the menu will be big on Southern favorites, with soups such as shrimp Creole or Mom's Turkey Gumbo and seafood or slow-cooked roast beef po-boys with gravy. A fried oyster salad or blackened fish salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette are among the cool choices and sides of jambalaya, Cajun fries and red beans and rice with sausage will add heat and Coast flavor.

Joshua Schmitt described the fare as "fast casual" and said, "Our kitchen is an open kitchen." A cabana bar is planned for outside on the deck and parking behind the restaurant.

Also on Wednesday, the DRC reviewed plans for Cheeky Monkey Cake Co. at 266 DeBuys Road.

"It's not going to be what we have now in D'Iberville," Jennifer Noble told the DRC. "It's going to be more of a boutique cake shop," she said, supplying custom cakes, wedding cakes and special-event cakes.

The D'Iberville bakery is in its fifth year and has 25 to 45 flavors of cupcakes a day, she said. The new Biloxi location will have a dozen or two varieties of cupcakes, she said, but will focus on cakes. They hope to open by October.

The DRC also reviewed plans for a new construction office for Coast builder Mike Fritz on Croesus Street downtown.

"People are wanting to stay around town after hours," said Terry Moran, engineer for the project that will have offices on the bottom floor and residential on the second floor.

Community Development Director Jerry Creel said in his weekly development report his department issued 48 other building permits last week, and new projects keep coming. "This Thursday, the Architectural Historical Review Commission will review the exterior designs for the proposed La Quinta Hotel to be located at Beach and Hopkins boulevards," Creel said.

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