Business in Downtown Ocean Springs Has Its Ups & Downs
For 13 years, the Manhattan Grill in downtown Ocean Springs has provided a fine dining experience for its guests, but as the times change, so will the restaurant, as it undergoes renovations to become more fun and casual. Bridgette Boudreaux, owner of Manhattan Grill, says, "People are really accepting that a lot more than the heavy meals. We’ve had a lot more appetizers, we’re putting in a little dance floor area ‘cause people started moving the tables at night. I was like, ‘Wow, people must really want to do that.’"
The grill will be closed for a couple of weeks for renovations, but will be open in time for Cruisin’ the Coast. Boudreaux also says, "We welcome everyone to come across the bridge and see that Ocean Springs is still a happening town, especially on the weekends. We all have music or some form of entertainment.”
Another big change is on the horizon for downtown Ocean Springs. Well known sushi spot, Chef Scott’s, will be moving into a larger building. Ocean Springs Mayor, Connie Moran, says, "Chef Scott’s, from my understanding, is going to be moving into Big Shirley’s, which is a much bigger space. Big Shirley’s would love to stay here in Ocean Springs and they’re looking for other venues."
The Firefly Tavern has also decided to close its doors and has already been replaced by a medical office. Moran says she’s not surprised to see the transformations due to the increase in competition. She closes, "It’s not a matter of what they really want these days, it’s a matter of affordability, and plus, for the restaurants, tourism themselves, utilities, insurance rates are up, so they have to be able to bring in the crowds and offer a fine product at a reasonable price."
A new barbeque joint is coming to downtown as well. Also, Gulfport’s Murky Waters has announced its opening a second location in Ocean Springs. Next week, Ocean Springs will be the host of Destination Downtown, a convention geared towards strengthening marketing strategies for small downtown businesses.