Live Local: Barq’s Building

It’s time to Live Local, a series you can only catch here on WXXV.

For this week’s edition, News 25’s Lorraine Weiskopf will take you inside the historic Barq’s Building on Howard Avenue in Biloxi.

The Barq’s Building in downtown Biloxi has no relation to the famous root beer. It’s just the last name of the family who purchased the building back in 1938 to be used for commercial business.

The family purchased the property from the Yerger family, adding to the history of the shopping district in Downtown Biloxi. The Barq’s Building began as two phases of construction that joined together to create the west end of the walkable retail mall. District on Howard Avenue Director of Marketing and Leasing Bobby Gillon said, “Just wondering about the history, all the stories that have been seen and told and just wondering about all the lives that have lived here. It’s all pretty interesting.”

The District on Howard Avenue is hoping to accomplish what the Yerger family wanted to do many years ago and revitalize the downtown area of Biloxi by renovating the Barq’s Building and using it for a combination of retail stores, restaurants, clubs, and residential housing in the area while also preserving pieces of the past with the renovation.  “A lot of the glass store fronts from the offices up here on the second floor will remain. We will use those in different parts and elements of the apartments. They can be cleaned up and reused or just become part of the décor from the common parts or hallways.”

The Barq’s Building experienced a decline in the late 60s as Edgewater Mall lured away their retailers. For the District on Howard Avenue, they’re also facing a few dilemmas, trying to overcome last year. “We weathered the storm of 2020 and the pandemic and not a lot of activity in any market. But everyone was pretty interested and positive, signing leases, and beginning to renovate more and more spaces over the next few months.”

Live Local is made possible through the support of the Biloxi Library System.