Talk about an all-in-one place, from golf cart rentals to a wine and liquor store, to some of the best margaritas and sandwiches along the coast – Bodega has it all.
- By Melanie Cole
When you arrive at the Parrot Head Bar & Grill in downtown Bay St Louis, it’s easy to imagine that you’ve just stumbled into a Key West, FL, locals hangout. The velvety coastal breezes waft through the palms and banana trees surrounding the outdoor patio, and you are automatically transported by the South Florida beach vibe.
The Parrot Head is only a few hundred feet from other businesses in the downtown area, but its laidback and low-key feel is appreciated by those wanting to avoid the crowds. Its atmosphere offers a quieter eating and drinking experience, and visitors and locals alike end up becoming regulars. Kaci Lee, manager, says, “We know our customers and what they eat and drink. It feels like family here.”
Add to that the Parrot Head’s signature specialty cocktails, a selection of fresh fruit, tequila-based margaritas (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, pineapple, and jalapeño, to name a few), and you’ll swear that Jimmy Buffet’s song, Margaritaville, was written about the Parrot Head Bar & Grill.
There are daily food specials on the white board, including fresh seafood, but according to Lee, the two best-sellers are the French Dip au Jus and the Cuban sandwiches. There is live music on the patio on Saturday from 3-6 pm, and Friday evening is Karaoke. The Parrot Head Bar & Grill Facebook page is the best source for their current happenings.
The Parrot Head is just one of the four ventures that entrepreneur Kevin Jordan runs out of his Bodega business at 111 Court Street, Bay St Louis. The others are: Bodega Adventure Rentals (bicycles, golf carts, paddle boards and kayaks); Bodega Spirits & Liquor; and a yoga studio. Jordan also runs a vacation rental business through his Coastal Palms and Abode Guest House properties. His other creative entrepreneurial endeavors and interests include sales and service of utility trailers and truck equipment; real estate investments; and historical preservation.
Originally from Slidell, Louisiana, Jordan recounted how he used to skip school to come to the Bay while growing up. His family later had a vacation home here, but that, along with his own home and other family properties, were all lost in Katrina. He vividly remembers swimming out of his house with his two dogs that day, just before the house washed away.
The Bodega venture was established in 2017 after Jordan purchased the large now coral-colored building, when the city of Bay St Louis put the former headquarters for both the city and the Hancock Chamber up for auction.
After purchase, the building’s first iteration was to house the offices of his Gulfview Properties before making the transformation to the Parrot Head hang-out. Anyone who has ever been to a Jimmy buffet concert will feel right at home here.
The name Bodega had a few associations for Jordan. Bodega Bay is a picturesque village on the Pacific Coast in Sonoma County, CA, famous for its part in Hitchcocks’ film The Birds, and one of Jordan’s favorite places to visit when he is at his family’s vineyard in nearby Napa Valley. “El Bodega” is one of Jordan’s favorite bars in Havana. It is also a term used for small grocery stores and/or wine shops or cellars.
Bodega Adventure Rentals, the golf cart, bicycle, kayak, and paddle board rental business, came next. One of Bay St Louis’ attractions is the coastal biking/hiking trail. Starting at the Silver Slipper Casino, it is possible to cycle the entire coastal road. For the adventurous, the route continues across the Bay Bridge and into Pass Christian and beyond. And since Bodega is only a few minutes by foot from the Bay St Louis Municipal Harbor, the rentals can be especially convenient for visiting boat owners.
Jordan rented bicycles first, then golf carts, followed by kayaks and paddle boards. He then built the restaurant, subdivided the first floor for his wine and liquor store, and converted the second floor to a loft for yoga. One of his visions was creating a restaurant with a tropical atmosphere, a local’s spot with reasonable prices – a kind of sailor’s hangout, reflecting his passions for windsurfing and sailing.
Bodega Spirits & Liquor store has an interesting selection of wines, thanks to Jordan’s knowledge from his family’s Napa Valley vineyard. He also sells both retail and wholesale, providing alcohol for downtown bars and restaurants as well. Jordan says that the store also keeps a wish-list - “If we don’t have what you want, we’ll order it,” he said.
The next time you’re in Bay St. Louis, stop by the big coral-colored building for some yoga, a bite of lunch or dinner, a happy hour cocktail, meeting and greeting some locals, shopping for a great bottle of wine, or to rent a vehicle for your next adventure!
Bodega Adventure Rentals is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. Book online or in person:
The Parrot Head Bar & Grill
Mon. – Tue. 11 am – 3 pm; Wed. thru Sun. 11 am – 9 pm;
Fri.-Sat. ‘til 10 pm
Wed. - Sun. 11 am - Last Call; Happy Hour 4-7 pm weekdays
Bodega Spirits & Liquor is open Mon.- Wed., noon – 8 pm; Thurs. - Sat. ‘til 9 pm.
Enjoy this feature?