The Cypress Cafe - New Owners, Same Menu of Faves
-by Ana Balka
The Cypress Cafe, an Old Town favorite, is under new ownership. But diehard fans can rest easy, says new owner Sue Forstall, who bought the cafe with her husband Steve in early June: these new owners love the restaurant and its menu just the way it is.
Forstall and former cafe owner and founder Holly Lemoine-Raymond have been friends for over 20 years, and Forstall says that taking over the cafe feels like she and Steve “adopted Holly’s second child.”
“Holly and I were both hostesses at a casino when we met years ago. We’ve stayed best friends and have seen each other through so many of life’s phases. It’s great to keep the business she started going for all the fans of the restaurant.”
The café’s contemporary décor is a fun counterpoint to its stately historic home – the former Bay St. Louis City Hall, located in the heart of Old Town. Built in 1905, the building’s award-winning restoration was completed in 2011. The Cypress Café occupies the entire ground floor (which includes the city's former jail, which makes for great story-telling).
In addition to a spacious dining area, patrons can also relax under the eaves of the porch or at tables tucked beside a magnificent live oak - complete with a picture-perfect shoofly deck.
The Cypress Café is situated just a few steps from the Depot District (with its picturesque duck pond) and only a block from Old Town’s main shopping area. With its stellar combination of good food and comfortable atmosphere over the past three years, it's established itself as one of the Bay's favorite lunch spots.
Cypress chefs Toni Buhler and Sherry Prater continue to prepare a full menu of salads, sandwiches, and burgers, many of which are named for locals. Right now Sue’s favorites are the Farmer’s Salad and the Panini by the Bay. “No, wait,” she says. “The tuxedo cake. It’s made with mascarpone cheese, chocolate mousse... It’s heaven on a plate.”
And her favorite thing about owning the Cypress Cafe so far? “The look on Steve’s face when he walks in and knows it’s his,” Sue says. “He’s always been a fan of the cafe. It was his idea—he and Holly talked about it and they worked on it before I got involved.”
She laughs. “Of course I was asking if he was out of his mind when I first heard the idea, but you’ve gotta take a chance now and then. It’s such a cool little restaurant.”