For over 10 years The Depot restaurant catered to customers on Buschman Street in Hattiesburg.
If all goes well, the restaurant will open at a new downtown location — 115 Walnut St. — by the end of this week.
Business partners Josh Casper and Keith Cascio bought the building and began making repairs and renovating the indoor/outdoor facility.
“We wanted a space that was a better fit for us and would give us a lot more room to grow,” Casper said.
The Depot closed the Buschman Street location in late March to focus on getting the new location open by mid-April.
“With the rising cost of everything, it pretty much made sense for us to do this, really,” Casper said. “You know, we took a hard look at our future and it kind of made more sense for us to take the avenue of buying the building.”
Along with the move will be a few more changes, including an expanded menu.
“We’re putting a lot of our specials that have done really well on there permanently, which is really cool,” Casper said. “So they’ll be able to get the cheeseburger now all the time and we’ve got a new fried chicken sandwich. And then there’s the Turkey Monster, which everybody loves. Those things will be permanently on the menu. I think people will like that.”
The private, themed dinners the restaurant offers on occasion will be expanded as well, with more seating than The Depot was previously able to offer. The menu, featuring several courses, is set in advance and each course is often paired with a special wine.
“We still love doing that,” Casper said. “Having a bigger place gives us an opportunity to have more people and do it more often.”
The Depot first opened in 2009 under former owner Angie Godwin at 127 Buschman St. In 2010, The Depot was sold to John Neal, where it thrived under chef Stuart Gates.
Cascio bought the restaurant in 2015, then moved it next door to 209 Buschman St. in 2018.
The Walnut Street location will be a permanent home for The Depot, which was named for the nearby historic train depot.
The new building also will give the restaurant to offer alcoholic beverages with breakfast and serve cocktails throughout the day. And someday having a dinner service isn’t out of the question.
“Having a bar kind of gives us space to do those things. Probably not right away, but eventually,” Casper said. “Once we get settled into our breakfast and lunch services, we’ll expand into doing maybe a night service a few nights a week. And if there’s anything going on at Town Square Park, that gives us a good opportunity to be open. But as far as what that looks like? We’re not sure. “We’re just kind of feeling things out and seeing what people like.”