Harrison County

Five things to know from Pass Christian mayor’s breakfast

The Whiskey Hotel on Davis Avenue in Pass Christian is on track to open before the end of the year.
The Whiskey Hotel on Davis Avenue in Pass Christian is on track to open before the end of the year. jclark@sunherald.com

Mayor Chipper McDermott held his annual “State of the City” breakfast Tuesday morning at the Pass Christian Harbor.

McDermott, who is never at a loss for words, told those in attendance that he had recently made a big decision.

“I will be running again for mayor,” he McDermott. “I won’t ‘bs’ you — I will probably tell the damn thing you don’t want to hear, because I will tell you the truth.”

McDermott has served as mayor of Pass Christian since he took over for newly-elected mayor Billy McDonald after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

McDermott said he believes the city is recovering well since it was severely damaged by the storm.

‘There are a lot of things going on around her that are going to make us better than we were before Katrina — if nature will just leave us alone,” he said. “Water put us in this mess, and water is the only thing that’s going to get us out of it.”

Here are some other takeaways from McDermott’s speech:

The Whiskey Hotel

It's been 90 years since Pass Christian had a hotel, but a boutique hotel in the city’s downtown area is set to open any day. The Whiskey Hotel on Davis Avenue, McDermott said, has undergone a soft opening and it should be opening its 11 rooms and one suite to the public very soon.

Thomas Genin, co-owner of Whiskey Hotel, talks about the concept of the small hotel and restaurant that will be the first new hotel in the city since 1925.

And more hotels

A ground-breaking ceremony was held in September for an 80-room Hampton Inn to be located on the corner of Scenic Drive and Market Street. McDermott said construction will start in December or January.

New Orleans cuisine in the Pass

McDermott said he has brought the owners of Muriel's at Jackson Square, a famous New Orleans eatery, to Pass Christian several times over a six-month period.

On Tuesday, he said the visits had paid off.

“The owners of Muriel's have bought three pieces of property and they plan to build a 100-seat restaurant that will open next year,” he said.

New parks

McDermott said a piece of property bought by the state is being made into a park that will be completed before the end of the year. It is located on Henderson Avenue.

He said it may one day have a dog park.

“To have a dog park, you have to have have fences for different-sized dogs,” he said. “The state said the grant won’t let them build a fence, but we may one day be able to do it ourselves.”

Cat Island Cookies

Leslie Bullock and her sister, Shelly, have been doing some great things at Cat Island Cookie and Cracker Co., their Pass Christian business. Known for their Brown Butter Cookies and savory cheese wafers, Cat Island Cookie was awarded a small business grant from the Pass Christian Chamber of Commerce at the breakfast.

Pass Christian sisters, Leslie Bullock and Shelly McNair tell how the Cat Island Cookie & Cracker Co. was born, and has grown into a successful venture. (Hint, their mom and grandmother were great bakers).