Bay photographer and businessman Ken Murphy is planning to be pulling beers and selling “something” at Dan B. Murphy’s come Cruisin’ The Coast,
Tuesday night, the Bay St. Louis City Council granted a 60-day construction easement that will allow crews to use city property during the construction of the restaurant and bar at 109 S. Beach Blvd.
The popular restaurant was washed away in Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Murphy tried to re-establish the night spot to Seminary Drive, but ended up closing after short while. “It was throwing good money after bad,” he said.
Now, site preparation work is going on for the new spot on Beach Boulevard and Murphy said he hopes to have foundation core samples back next week to finish engineering the foundation. A tentative ground-breaking date is set for June 28.
“Once we get over that, we’re ready to go and we can start building,” he said.
The easement granted by the City Council will allow the construction crew to use city property to stage materials and place a crane to move the superstructure into place. Murphy said the easement is a typical construction easement.
The superstructure will be metal, with wood wrapped around it, he said.
The restaurant and bar will be lengthwise along South Beach Boulevard, rather than deep as it was before the storm. Murphy said it will run from the train bridge to the stop sign.
“Our goal is to be selling something for Cruisin’,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll earn everybody’s trust back.
“It’s only taken 11 years.”
Murphy already is offering a rewards-card program to customers in advance of the restaurant opening. He also is keeping fans apprised of the progress through the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Murphy said he is putting the business plan together and overseeing construction while working on a book about New Orleans neighborhood bars.
Titled “Local Spirit,” Murphy said his new photography book will feature about 150 neighborhood bars in the Crescent City.