Jackson County

Hattiesburg’s Keg and Barrel is opening a location on the Coast

Keg and Barrel just opened a second Hattiesburg location in the fall, and now the brewpub is making a move on the Coast.

By fall 2019, the third Keg and Barrel will open at The Inlet, a mixed use development under construction along U.S. 90 in Ocean Springs.

“Live, Eat, Shop” is the marketing slogan of the complex, 1.5 miles east of downtown. “We’re the eat part,” says John Neal, founder and owner of Keg and Barrel.

The original location opened in a 110-year-old home on Hardy Street in 2005 and is celebrating 14 years in April, he said. A second location in West Hattiesburg near the mall opened in October.

The Ocean Springs location will feature a large bar with more than 100 beers, 40 beers on tap. It also will have open kitchen.

“Craft beer and hand-crafted food,” he said.

“Beer is available everywhere from Germany to Ireland to local Mississippi brews plus beers brewed in-house,” according to the company website.

On the menu in Hattiesburg are homemade fries, wings, burgers, salads, pub grub such as fish and chips and a turkey pita with blueberry mayonnaise, and brunch entrees like Neal’s chicken and waffles.

“We make everything from scratch,” he said. “It’s pub fair but it’s really well done.”

At this new restaurant, he and owners and co-partners and general managers Dianna Pennington and Jim Thompson are planning an oyster bar with chargrilled and fresh oysters, Neal said.

“Being on the Coast we feel like we need to add more seafood dishes,” Neal said, and he feels like the brand is flexible enough to change up the menu.

The 6,300-square-foot restaurant is in the west building of the Ocean Springs complex. With 95 upscale condos, many customers will be right on site to mingle with the public.

Neal said he and his partners scoped out locations in Ocean Springs many times and found this opportunity.

“We feel like our brand is pretty big in that area,” he said, with lots of Southern Miss fans nearby. It’s far enough that it won’t affect business at the two location in Hattiesburg, he said. It’s also the first foray into what could be a second location on the Coast, he said, and possibly move into Mobile or Fairhope, Alabama.

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Mary Perez is the business and casino reporter for the Sun Herald and also writes about Biloxi, jobs and the new restaurants and development coming to the Coast. She is a fourth-generation journalist.