GULFPORT, MS – OCT 8, 2015 — Shaggy’s is expanding on the MS Gulf Coast and has broken ground on their newest location in Gulfport, on the beach, overlooking the Gulf between Hwy 90 and 15th St.
“We’ve been eyeing Gulfport for a while, and wanted to be strategically located near the new aquarium and harbor developments, so we couldn’t be more pleased with our location and views,” says Ron Ladner, Shaggy’s Founder/Owner.
The original plan was for a new concept on the site, but according to Ladner, “My wife and I kept our boat at the Gulfport Harbor this spring, and spent lots of time in the downtown restaurants and met several new folks…it didn’t take long to realize how strong our brand was here, and how many people just gave up visiting our other locations, because of the long waits once they arrived…So we decided to just go with a Shaggy’s instead.”
“We often make the drive to Pass Christian because we love Shaggy’s so much,” says Rachel Gillenwater a life-long Gulfport native, and schoolteacher, “we can’t wait to have one here in our town, our kids will be so excited!”
Architecturally, the new Shaggy’s Gulfport Beach is designed to fit the neighborhood, however, will maintain their signature open-air atmosphere, but under large shaded oaks, including a bridge that will lead to an open bar closer to the Gulf, and will feature an open flame grill for chargrilled oysters.
“This will be our fifth waterfront restaurant,” says Ladner. “Since opening the first Shaggy’s after Katrina, we have served over 2,000,000 guests at 3 locations,” adds Ladner. “With the Gulfport location, we will have 300 employees and will generate $12,000,000 per year in revenue.”
“I never imagined it would grow to this level…I left the coast, traveled the world on business, returned home for good, and just felt we were missing that cool, laid-back, open-air fun spot that you see in South Florida, California and the Caribbean…. This was my inspiration for the first Shaggy’s in 2006.”
According to Ladner, Shaggy’s plans to be open on Gulfport Beach sometime in late February and become a big part of the Gulfport community. “We’re bringing more than just a family-fun-spot to Gulfport…we’re bringing our “Shaggy’s Kids Foundation,” along with our commitment to community service, food drives, toy drives, and quality local jobs that include benefits and health insurance.”
Once open, the Shaggy’s Gulfport Beach is expected to generate $175,000 in sales tax…with over $1,000,000 in payroll.
“We want to thank the City of Gulfport officials for their help in making this happen,” says Ladner. “It was a straightforward painless process to get the approvals we needed.”
Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said, “The City of Gulfport is excited to welcome Shaggy’s into our downtown district. The energy, family entertainment and restaurant experience Shaggy’s brings will significantly contribute to the growth of and our vision for Gulfport.”