Be sure to visit Hot Spot businesses The Mockingbird Café, 110 South Second Street, and Strandz Salon, 203 North Second Street.
- stories by Denise Jacobs, photos by Ellis Anderson and Denise Jacobs
The Mockingbird Café
110 South Second Street
Bay St. Louis, MS
In the beginning, folks congregated at the Mockingbird Cafe, which had sustained flood waters only as high as its porch steps, to discuss insurance claims; who remained, who left, who needed help; and reconstruction plans and regrowth.
The Mockingbird grew out of a need for a place for community healing in the aftermath of Katrina.
Now, folks congregate to pick guitars at the song circle, to perform at open mic, to play board games provided by the local library, and to grab a beer and a Mockingburger after the Thursday night club-run.
This Second Saturday Artwalk
More than just a coffee shop, “the Bird” has been dubbed the living room of the Bay. It is a place reminiscent of the house in which Alicein Wonderland Schwabacher, sole proprietor, grew up, a Bay St. Louis home overflowing with colorful out-of-town travelers who taught Schwabacher that she was a citizen of the world.
While the Mockingbird is more than a coffee shop, it does serve a great cup of coffee. Beans are roasted at Coast Roast in Long Beach for a special Mockingbird blend. “We aren’t a cookie-cutter town, so we aren’t a cookie-cutter coffee shop,” says Schwabacher. “If we can source anything nearby, from coffee to art to live music, we do that. That’s important to us.”
Schwabacher says, “Our Mockingbird team gets it—we are all ambassadors of Bay St. Louis.” She adds that the Bird’s success is also due to her supportive partner Rebekah and her tireless work.
No time is a bad time to experience the Bird’s menu, and the weekend brunch is especially popular. Signature alcoholic drinks such as a trio of mimosas made with fresh seasonal juice, Lushy Lemonade, Irish coffees, and the Tequila Mockingbird are always available but are hits with the brunch crowd.
The idea behind the Mockingbird is that a community is stronger if everyone works together—from staff to city planning. That idea still holds. “We may not all want exactly the same thing,” Schwabacher says, “but we can always find common ground.”
With that, she invites everyone to stop by on Second Saturday, February 10, between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. “All are welcome," she says. “We welcome any and all neighbors.”
• The Mockingbird is now taking Mobile/Online orders! Check it out at https://squareup.com/store/mockingbird-cafe-llc.
203 N Second St
Bay St Louis, MS
Cuevas says that owning a business was never that important, that it just happened. Nevertheless, she says that it takes business acumen and loyal customers to sustain a business through a hurricane the proportions of Katrina, a diagnosis of breast cancer, and single parenting. Cuevas has done just that.
She continued there and operated a full-service salon for ten years before moving to her current location on the corner of deMontluzin and Second Street in the same building as The Ugly Pirate.
“You have to have a town to have a business,” Cuevas says, “and this is my town. This town helped me maintain a business as a single parent. It helped me through my battle with breast cancer, and I am happy to say that I am a 13-year survivor. My customers support my business, and I appreciate every last one of them.”
Cuevas loves working in Old Town, taking walks around town, and meeting new people.
Strandz is a full-service salon featuring Joico and Matrix professional hair care and hair styling products. Cuevas offers haircuts, color, perms, blow dry, flat iron, and relaxers.