Eggplant Josephine will make your mouth water again | News
BILOXI, MS (WLOX)- A piece of Biloxi's history will again be a beautiful landmark in South Mississippi. White Pillars restaurant closed it's doors 20 years ago. While it sat dormant, the wrath of Katrina tore through the century old building.
For the last several years, it's been the dream of owner John Mladinich to bring the White Pillars back to life. He's hired restoration teams to clean up the interior of the building. "People always wanted to buy it but I wouldn't sell it," said Mladinich. I always loved the place and we are going to do it again."
The doors to the historic White Pillars restaurant closed two decades ago. But, it didn't take long for 84-year-old Mladinich to miss it.
Mladinich's son-in-law Brooks Holstein said, "It had been a goal of my father-in-law's for a number of years. He is a restaurateur at heart, and this was meaningful to him and we wanted to support him."
Holstein is married to Mladinich's daughter Debbie. The couple ran the restaurant and shared many fond memories there. "My husband proposed to me on the patio in 1979 and then asked my father for my hand in marriage, which was very important to me and then my wedding was here in 1980," remembered Debbie.
Now the family is working to bring the Biloxi landmark back to life. Saturday they opened the doors to show many in the community their plans.
Brooks Holstein said, "So many people had been guests at the restaurant for years and I think it was exciting to hear their stories about the evenings of the White Pillars."
Soon guests will be able to reminisce inside the restaurant and it will look a lot like they remembered it. From the chandeliers, light switches, to the bar and many other antiques that survived Katrina are being refurbished.
Debbie Holstein said, "We are making sure the integrity of the original builder had intended for the building to be and the materials used, so we are going to bring it back to the period of 1905."
And along with the looks there will be another familiarity.
Mladinich said, "We had quite a reputation with Eggplant Josephine but I'm glad to do it again and Eggplant Josephine will be one of our big pushes."
The project is expected to be completed in late fall and White Pillars will open after the family finds the right person to run the restaurant. Mladinich has already worked with the Biloxi Design Review Committee to make sure his renovations meet city specifications.
Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.