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A Coast restaurant whose soups, sandwiches, specialty coffee and desserts made it a favorite spot on the Coast has closed after 20 years and a Cajun shop will close at the end of the month.

As South Mississippi celebrates dozens of new restaurants opening across the three Coast counties, business owners are sharing on social media that the economy and other struggles are forcing them to close.

Layla’s Coffeehouse & Eatery at 2079 East Pass Road is no longer in business, the owner posted on Facebook.

Originally Nezaty’s Café, the restaurant opened in 1993.

Linsey O’Keefe bought the restaurant from her mother-in-law in 2018, according to Gulf Coast Woman. In 2021 she expanded the business, moved from Courthouse Road to busy Pass Road and opened under the new name Layla’s.

O’Keefe said it was a difficult decision to close and for her to move in a new direction.

She announced a new restaurant will take over the space in the building that’s east of Cowan Road, and the new owners will keep Coast Roast coffee, favorite breakfast items and some of the other popular features customers of Layla’s enjoyed.

“I hope that in some small way, my restaurant has added to the fabric of our community and that you will continue to support local businesses like mine in the future,” she said.

The City of Gulfport said an owner of a new restaurant hasn’t started the permit process yet.

Cajun Gourmet at 20048 Pineville Road in Long Beach will close at the end of March, said owner Allen Paulk.

“It is with great sorrow that I must announce that we will be closing permanently,” he announced Tuesday on Facebook. “The economy and lack downturn has created this situation and with my current state of health, I am unable to maintain the quality of customer service required to keep the doors open.”

The business opened six years ago as one of the few gourmet food stores in South Mississippi. It featured Cajun specialty foods like boudin and Cajun style pickles along with Southern gifts. The store was a wholesaler of Tabasco and Aunt Jenny’s praline products.

Once he posted the closing, Paulk said, customers began coming by to check on them. They are restocking the coolers for the next week, he reported on Facebook, and are talking to customers about catering events.

Layla’s Coffeehouse and Eatery on East Pass Road in Gulfport has closed. The restaurant that previously was Nezaty’s Cafe had operated on the Coast for 20 years..
Layla’s Coffeehouse and Eatery on East Go Highway in Gulfport has shut. The cafe that formerly was Nezaty’s Cafe had operated on the Coastline for 20 decades.. Mary Perez [email protected]

Cajun Gourmet specialty store in Long Beach features gourmet food and gifts. The retail store will close at the end of March.
Cajun Gourmet specialty retail outlet in Prolonged Beach front capabilities gourmand foodstuff and presents. The retail keep will near at the conclusion of March. Amanda McCoy [email protected]

The Santa Fe panini was a favorite at Layla’s Coffeehouse and Eatery.
The Santa Fe panini was a favorite at Layla’s Coffeehouse and Eatery. Julian Brunt Exclusive to Sunshine Herald

Cajun Gourmet ispecialty store in Long Beach specialized in gourmet food and gifts.
Cajun Gourmet ispecialty store in Very long Seashore specialized in gourmet foods and items. Amanda McCoy Sunlight Herald file

This story was originally revealed March 25, 2023, 9:00 AM.

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Mary Perez has gained awards for her company and casino content for the Sun Herald. She also writes about Biloxi, employment and the new dining places and enhancement coming to the Coastline. She is a fourth-generation journalist.

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