Gulfport Merchants Chamber Business Briefs

With summer comes change, at least in Gulfport. 

With the blistering hot months upon us, some businesses in Gulfport will be making changes. Art of Massage, which has operated in downtown Gulfport for more than a decade, will be adding a second location. Backfin Blue Café, a Gulfport Boulevard favorite, is closing for a handful of months and El Chapo Taco said its final adios. 

More Massage  

It’s been 14 years since the Art of Massage opened at 2914 Beach Blvd. S., and the massage therapy group is finally ready to make a jump to Tangerine Avenue. 

Owner Leta Woloshvk hopes that the location will be ready in three months, and will be adding massage therapists to her team of four. 

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Woloshvk said. “I’ll need some more hands, but I’m so excited.” 

The new building will have two much larger therapy rooms, complete with vaulted ceilings and will be American with Disabilities Act (ADA) certified. 

“The new spot will have the same vibe,” Woloshvk said. “A lot of people say it’s very peaceful and relaxing.” 

Backfin will be Back

A three-month close isn’t out of the ordinary for Backfin Blue Café, but this summer the restaurant will be going through some changes. 

“It’s going to be a whole grand plan,” owner Harold Russell said. “We are repairing our 93-year-old building as much as we are rebuilding the menu.” 

With the reopening date to be determined, Russell plans to landscape the side of the building, and possibly make an outdoor seating area. The menu will be filled with new wines and dishes for guests to look forward to in the fall. 

“We have some staff leaving for the summer, and I saw this as a good chance for a fresh start,” the Backfin owner said. 

Throughout the summer the front porch style café will host small popup dinners and cater events such as Geckofest.

“We’re coming back better than ever,” Russell said. 

Tacos No More

It was over a year ago that El Chapo Taco made a splash with burritos, margaritas and other south-o-the-border inspired favorites on 3038 Beach Blvd. S. 

One summer later, and the restaurant named after the Mexican drug lord is closed for good. 

Currently, there are no known plans for the building or the brand, and Gulfport will have to go elsewhere for tacos. 

Cutline El Chapo: El Chapo Taco, a Mexican restaurant located at 3038 Beach Blvd. S., closed this June. As of now, the brand will not be reopening and there are no current plans for the building. 

Backfin Blue Café owner Harrold Russel poses with daughter, Carly Russell, at their family restaurant located at 2913 Beach Blvd. S. The seafood café will be closing for a couple months for general repairs and a revamping of the menu. 

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