He was still attending to the final details Thursday for his new Ajax Seafood Kitchen on the beach in Gulfport, but owner Thomas Genin said, "We're unlocking the door at 4 p.m."
He personally boiled the crawfish for the opening.
"We hired 50 people" who have been waiting for the go-ahead to open, he said. "We're ready to go."
Gulfport officials accommodated him to get the business license issued and the final inspections complete at the new restaurant at 942 U.S. 90, just west of Cowan Road.
Genin is not concerned that the opening comes over Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest times of the year in South Mississippi.
"I've been doing this a long time," he said. He's owned and operated several restaurants, including the Blind Tiger on the beach in Bay St. Louis.
Genin didn't say how much he spent to build Ajax, which is named after his daughter Avery, 5, and son Jax, 3. He did say, "I exceeded the budget by more than I spent to open the Blind Tiger in Bay St. Louis."
The added expense is well worth it, he said. The interior is climate-controlled, while the decks will give breezes and views of the water and sunsets. He said 10,000 old Chicago bricks were used in the design and the outdoor seating area, which will have a stage for musicians and a sand pit for the kids.
Chalkboard menus, heavy on fresh seafood, will provide local favorites and fresh fish specials every night. Genin said he will open with selections he expects to be standards, such as his signature blackened shrimp tacos.
The restaurant will be open nightly and later daily for lunch, although Genin said they may serve lunch Saturday and Sunday for the Memorial Day weekend.