New downtown restaurants, shops to welcome Cruisers

Continuing the burgeoning redevelopment in Downtown Biloxi and just in time for Cruisin’ the Coast, four new businesses opened in Downtown Biloxi this week, with two ribbon cuttings this afternoon during Finally Friday.

Main Street Biloxi officials will welcome the city’s two new restaurants and two new shops in a rapidly changing landscape that is breathing new life into Downtown Biloxi.

Ribbon cuttings today will feature Le Café Beignet, “a Shabby Chic hang out café offering gourmet treats, with one of a kind ambiance along with wi-fi.” Le Cafe is at 136 Rue Magnolia, a site shared by Eclectiques, featuring Antiques, Boutique & Eclectic Finds.

Also opening this week is
Da Little Café on Martin Luther King Blvd. in the CTA building (that formerly housed Port City Café) and Bath Junkie comes to Downtown Biloxi at 953 Howard Ave. (in the building that formerly housed Gollott Lyons Real Estate).

Said Main Street manager Kay Miller: “We’re excited to have two more downtown eateries and two more upscale shops added to the divergent group of businesses that is helping transform Downtown Biloxi.

“There’s definitely a new energy building Downtown.”

Details: For more information about business opportunities, please contact the Biloxi Main Street Office at 228-435-6339.

Finally Friday: You’ll find expanded hours and specials at businesses throughout downtown Biloxi today from 4 to 8 p.m. for Main Street’s Finally Friday. “Gram Rea” entertains at Margaret Tremmell Peresich Park, south of Biloxi Regional Hospital Medical Center. Those attending can win a $100 gift card.

Cruising downtown: The annual downtown Cruisin’ block party takes place Wednesday morning throughout the Vieux Marche. Hundreds of vehicles will line city streets, many of which will be closed for the occasion, and entertainment stages will offer cruising-era music. To learn more about the event and to see the downtown layout, click here.

Meantime, down in east Biloxi, get Hooked Up

The Biloxi Boardwalk Marina has reached a new milestone: The Hook Up Restaurant is now open for business.

To get the background, see photographs and take a peek at the menu,
click here.

Excelebration Safety Fair is Saturday at Town Green

Children age 5 and younger and their parents are invited to the Town Green Saturday morning to learn safety tips for all facets of their life.

The Excelebration Safety Fair will focus on safety in the areas of school, on boats and in the water water, on tricycles and bikes, at Halloween, and on buses and in cars. Games, activities and refreshments will be served for free.

The event takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on the Town Green, and will be held in the Biloxi Civic Center at 578 Howard Ave., in the event of inclement weather.

Sponsors are Biloxi Public Schools, Biloxi Regional Medical Center, the City of Biloxi, and Excel by 5.
Details: Susan Hunt at or (228) 297-6808 or Cheryl Bell at or (228) 388-7170.

Weekend overview: For a look at the overall lineup of weekend entertainment, which includes shows by Jay Leno, Foreigner, dinosaurs at the Coliseum, and a show at Center Stage, click here.

Debris removal efforts: The end is here

The city’s Isaac debris removal efforts are over with at the end of the business today, with more than 25,000 cubic yards of debris hauled from city streets and neighborhoods.

Jonathan Kiser, the city consultant who oversaw the effort, said the entire project will end up costing about $350,000, with the city having to pay only about 12.5 percent of that cost. Under the city’s federally approved plan, about 75 percent of the cost is being paid by FEMA, and about 12.5 percent is being paid by the state.

“The amount of debris was right on track with what we anticipated,” said Kiser, who also oversaw the city’s massive, 16-month, $80 million debris removal efforts in the wake of Katrina. “I know immediately after Isaac the city was contemplating whether to engage its federally approved debris removal contract, and it was a wise decision to take this route.

“Additionally, the contractor, Crowder-Gulf Venture, was very efficient, and we got the job done with relatively few issues. The last things we’re working on today are a few dozen piles in Woolmarket and a few downed trees near the rights of way.

“We want to thank the public for their cooperation,” Kiser said. “Any debris remnants will now roll over to the city’s normal collection schedule.”

Finale: To see the final tally of debris-removal efforts in Biloxi,
click here.

Council seeks input on proposed ward lines

The Biloxi City Council has scheduled two hearings to seek public input on the proposed boundaries for Biloxi’s seven wards.

Councilmembers will be elected from those seven wards in the 2013 municipal elections.

The public hearings will be Oct. 16 and Oct. 30 at 1:30 p.m. at Biloxi City Hall.

The council will be seeking input on three maps, known as Plan 5, Plan 6 and Plan 7.

— To see the Plan 5 map,
click here.

— To see the Plan 6 map,
click here.

— To see the Plan 7 map,
click here.

Incidentally, the current ward lines were drawn in 2004 and are based on the city’s population as reflected in Census 2000. To see those pre-Katrina lines, which were used in municipal elections for 2005 and 2009, click here.

News and notes

School on Monday: Biloxi Public Schools, which had planned to have no classes on Monday in observance of Columbus Day, will instead conduct classes at their usual times. The holiday was canceled in order to make up for the Isaac interruption to the school calendar.

Light it up: Mississippi Power Co. reports that all but a half-dozen of the more than 600 street lights on U.S. 90 in Biloxi are now operating. The power company has been able to repair dozens of lights on U.S. 90 in Biloxi since Isaac struck 39 days ago. The only issues remaining are underground wiring – handled by another city contractor – on several lights just east of Beauvoir Road and just east of Camellia Street. Once the city’s underground wiring contractor has made repairs, the power company can restore lighting in those isolated cases.

Webcasting: Hear about municipal issues du jour in this week’s City Desk webcast. To listen to the 14-minute program, recorded Thursday at Biloxi City Hall, click here.

A correction: The Biloxi First roast of Butch Oustalet is on Tuesday, Oct. 30, not a Thursday as reported in a Bmail yesterday. Regardless, you can read about the event by click here.