New owners adding bistro to historic Main Street building

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BAY ST. LOUIS – The new owners of the brick facade building at 111 Main St. will enhance the retail space on one side, open a coastal bistro on the other and rebrand the new development as The Shops at Magnolia Alley. Also in the plans is construction of exclusive apartments behind the building.

The Parrish family, who took over ownership last week, chose the name in honor of the Magnolia State Lumber Supply business that occupied the building from 1937 to the 1980s. The Phillips family created four retail spaces as part of the building’s post-Katrina makeover in 2008.

The current tenants – Uptown Interiors, Bay Breeze, Biz-Zee Bee and Gourmet Galley – all will remain under the new ownership.

Pass Christian architect Leah Watters is creating the “Alley” of Magnolia Alley on the side of the building where Uptown Interiors is. A new open air entrance off Main Street will lead to two side-by-side retail spaces running the length of the building, with a secure gated entry leading to the lobby of the planned three-story luxury apartments.

The two retail spots in the middle of the building where Gourmet Galley and Biz-Zee Bee are will be unchanged.

The bistro, named CrabbyChefs, will have 150 seats including a second floor balcony and lounge configured in private vignettes. The kitchen will be led by chef Geo Morse. The bistro will be where Bay Breeze is now. It will be relocating to the Alley.

The new owners plan to build eight luxury rental apartments on the old lumber yard area behind the building. The 3-bedroom, 2-bath apartments will be designed with corporate clients and well heeled tenants in mind.

The building renovations and apartment project will represent an investment of $3 million in the Bay St Louis community.

The Parrish family said they are mindful of the Magnolia State building’s history, and they have been working closely with the Phillips family during the planning and transfer of ownership.

“We are very thankful to Noel Phillips Fell and her husband, Dennis, for allowing us the opportunity to honor and preserve the historic heritage of a Bay St Louis landmark,” said Jim Parrish.

Dennis and Noel Fell said, “Our hearts are always with Bay St. Louis and the people there who have been so important in our lives. Restoring the old family building after Katrina was important to us. And we are so glad to see the ongoing development of the historic Main Street District, including Mr Parrish’s plans.”

The Parrish family will manage The Alley in conjunction with Crawford Realty Group.

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