Make old Gulfport VA like Perkins Rowe in Baton Rouge

Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I thought of the old Gulfport VA property last week when I made a day trip to Baton Rouge, with Perkins Rowe my last stop before I went back home.

Perkins Rowe is a mixed-used development that the old Gulfport VA, now Centennial Plaza, should become.

I’d like the beachfront area on Highway 90 to become the best Coast hub for shopping, dining and movies once the Holiday Inn Resort, Centennial Plaza’s first major anchor tenant, becomes reality on the site that was a Veterans Administration medical center until it was shut down in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.

Ten historic Spanish Colonial Revival buildings, half going back to the 1920s, remain and two of them will become part of the Holiday Inn Resort.

Once the hotel is complete, developers should bring some Perkins Rowe flair to Centennial Plaza.

Here’s what I saw at Perkins Rowe and all these fine examples of quality photo journalism are mine.

Quite a landmark

Starbucks inside spacious B&N

Better looking than your Gulfport Cinemark

Lit well




The trip to Baton Rouge was my first since 1993, and if Centennial Plaza never becomes the Perkins Rowe of the Coast, I will know where to stop the next time I’m in Red Stick.

And I won’t wait another 25 years to go back.

Last week, I also made two stops on Government Street, which is north of Perkins Rowe and reminds me of Midtown Memphis.

One of the Government Street stops was for a cheeseburger, fries and root beer.


The other stop was to scout an old pizza joint.

Fleur de Lis Cocktail Lounge

I didn’t go inside Fleur de Lis, also known as The Pink Palace of Roman Pie, because I was on my way to Curbside, but now I can’t wait to try the pizza.

It’s been three weeks since my last pizza, so I’m revving up plans for the next Baton Rouge trip.


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