By LISA MONTI
A year after opening Hotel Whiskey in Pass Christian, the owner has put the property up for sale. Restaurateur Thomas Genin said he wants to focus on his expanding Blind Tiger restaurant brand.
“Building another ‘Blind Tiger’ and then more behind that,” Genin wrote in a text message about the sale. He said he’s had “a few” inquiries about the property.
The asking price for the 11-room boutique hotel is $1,490,000. The property includes a high-end steak house on the bottom floor. The description of the 6,420-square-foot property says the “turn key operation” comes with all furnishings, including small wares and linens. Current weekend rates listed on the hotel website ranged from $129 for king rooms to $299 for a suite. Weeknight rates started at $99 and went up to $149.
Just before the hotel’s opening last year, Genin put the cost of the land, the two-story building and furnishings at approximately $1 million. The hotel and the restaurant were staffed with around 20 employees at the opening.
Hotel Whiskey was the first inn for Genin, who has owned several restaurants. He said at the opening that he expected the hotel to attract customers from New Orleans who wanted to stay somewhere other than a casino hotel.
Genin developed the property in Pass Christian’s downtown with builder Travis March. Pass officials looked forward to the economic benefits of its first operating hotel since the 1970s. The city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and has struggled with its comeback, so Hotel Whiskey and two other developments in the works were welcome news. At the time of the Hotel Whiskey opening, local restaurateur Jourdan Nicaud was building Hotel Pass Christian across Scenic Drive from his Bacchus on the Beach restaurant, and Hampton Inn had broken ground nearby.
Genin owns three Blind Tigers restaurants, including the original on Beach Boulevard in Bay St. Louis that opened in 2013 and introduced the brand’s casual, open air setting with a menu that features burgers, fries and fish tacos. In 2017 he opened a Blind Tiger on the Biloxi beachfront in front of Harrah’s and another in Slidell, La. The fourth Blind Tiger is being developed in Covington, La., along the North Shore city’s waterfront.