- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
In a community where cooking is considered an art form, a good chef can acquire celebrity status. That’s certainly the case with Rickey Peters, who’s developed an enormous coast following in the past twenty years.
Rickey’s fan club will be cheering in the stands when they hear the latest: in just a few weeks his new kitchen opens at Bodega Parrot Head Bar, 111 Court Street, Bay St. Louis. Currently, Bodega’s bar has only been open on weekends, but soon, both bar and kitchen will be serving seven days a week, from 11am – 10 pm.
Plans are in the works to extend hours eventually, with owner Kevin Jordan saying that Bodega intends to become the late-night place to eat in the Bay.
The menu will look familiar to regular diners at the former Rickey’s Off the Tracks location (across from the Bay’s historic depot).
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New on the menu are dollar tacos, cheeseburger sliders, French pizza bread and shrimp salad rolls. Soon to come, according to Jordan, are daily specials and some entrée plates.
When entrepreneur Kevin Jordan invited Rickey to open up at a renovated barber shop across from the depot in 2015, Rickey’s Off the Tracks instantly became one of the town’s liveliest lunch spots.
Jordan had plans to offer an outdoor kitchen and evening dining at the depot location, yet a hitch in logistics put an end to the restaurant. It turned out that his initial measurements were slightly off – the restaurant was 20 feet too close to a school building to obtain a liquor license.
The outdoor BBQ and eating area that never materialized in the Depot district is already taking shape at Bodega. Out back, a deep French Quarter style balcony is being added to the building and will offer a covered area for dining below. Inside, the 1,000 square foot bar and dining area is adjacent to the kitchen where Rickey will be serving up his specials.
The Court Street building, former headquarters for both the city and the Hancock Chamber, also is home to a liquor store, a rental business and a yoga studio upstairs.
The liquor store features a large assortment of wines (Jordan, who also owns a small vineyard in California, oversees the selection) and liquors. They’re able to sell both retail and wholesale, so can provide alcohol for downtown bars and restaurants as well. Jordan says that the store also keeps a wish-list.
“If we don’t have what they want, we’ll order it,” he said.
George Mills performs at Bodega each Saturday from 7pm – 10pm (on Second Saturdays, he starts at 6pm). As the weather warms, Friday night performances will be added as well.
Look for the soft opening of Bodega’s kitchen in ten days to two weeks. The chef is counting the hours.
“I’m ready to start today,” Rickey said.