GULFPORT -- The Blind Tiger, a popular bar and grill in downtown Bay St. Louis, is coming to Gulfport.
Urban Development Director Greg Pietrangelo said the city has issued a foundation permit for The Blind Tiger across from the beach on U.S. 90 between Tegarden and Cowan roads.
Like the Bay St. Louis eatery, The Blind Tiger in Gulfport, will feature an open-air concept and include decks, Pietrangelo said. The Gulfport location, expected to open in the spring, will be elevated. Slabs on the property will be retained for parking behind the restaurant.
The Blind Tiger overlooking the Bay of St. Louis bills itself as a seafood restaurant, bar and grill, and sports bar. The bar and restaurant has proven so popular with tourists and locals that it has expanded several times. It features fish tacos, burgers, steamed Royal Red shrimp, and fish and chicken sandwiches.
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Owner Thomas Genin said he got the concept for the restaurant on vacations with his wife to Baja California Sur in Mexico, and to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
"I have been self-employed in the restaurant business since 2002, and this is the best concept yet," he said. "It is not easy, because everything is fresh and changes constantly. But it is absolutely worth all the extra effort."
Genin said he expects to have a staff of 50 in Gulfport, as he does in Bay St. Louis. He said the city of Gulfport has been both professional and accommodating.
"This is my eighth construction project on Highway 90 since Katrina," he said, " and, so far, Gulfport has been my favorite experience."
A Blind Tiger was being built on the beach in Biloxi, but it sold to other owners who have opened the business as Beach Bums restaurant and sports bar.