Work is under way to transform the former Cannella Italian and German restaurant at 1113 U.S. 90 into a coffee shop owned by Dana and Thomas Barrett, who also own Sea Level in Pass Christian. It’s the culinary couple’s first venture into Bay St. Louis and they expect to open in mid or late November.
Dana Hirsch-Barrett was the original chef/owner of Harbor View Cafe which the Hirsch family opened in 1994. After the restaurant was lost to Katrina, Dana and Thomas, who has worked at La Provence in Lacombe, La., reopened it the next year in Long Beach. In 2011 the couple built a new restaurant location on Jeff Davis in Long Beach and then sold it a couple of years ago.
That’s when they opened Sea Level, a tiny but complete kitchen inside a beach cottage on wheels that operates seasonally in the West Pass Christian Harbor. It’s known for its award winning tacos and burgers, hand cut fries and homemade spinach and artichoke spring rolls.
Sea Level closed Oct. 30 for the winter and will reopen in January. Dana, Thomas and their employees are now focused on getting Coffee Culture up and running. “We have such fantastic employees we wanted to keep them year round,” Dana said.
They’re leasing the space for their new coffee shop to test the waters in a new location. “We’ve never done anything over in the Bay and wanted to get a feel for it first,” Dana said.
Coffee Culture will offer a variety of hot and cold coffee, Chai tea, breakfast pastries and sandwiches, scones and bagels, most of which will be made from scratch. It will feature Coast Roast coffee, a local favorite based in Long Beach. The coffee will be sold either in whole beans or ground at the coffee shop.
The Barretts will start out staffing Coffee Culture with their Sea Level employees but would hire locals as the need arises. “Being a part of the community is very important,” Dana said.
Coffee Culture will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’s seating inside for 18 customers and a screened in porch in back that’s dog friendly. There’s also a handy drivethru window where orders and dog treats will be dispensed.
Watch for Coffee Culture on Facebook and Instagram.