The Chimneys Restaurant is in an historic home facing the Gulf of Mexico. Peter and Dix Nord, proprietors, purchased this property in the early 1999. The land was initially part of 13.5 acres acquired by James McLaren in 1830 from the United States Government.
In 1837, as part of the original Mississippi City Company, the land changed hands from Mr. McLaren to Dr. W.H. Tegarden who in 1876 deeded it to his granddaughter, Margaret Soria.
A Queen Anne-style beachfront house was built on this lot in the early 1900’s by Mr. T.G.B. Kellier, a lumberman, and his wife. From 1916 to 1952, several prominent Gulfport families, among them the Pooles, Batsons, and Fowlers, owned the residence. The Edward Sternberg family bought the property in 1952 and developed the yard into a beautiful greenbelt with exotic herbs, rare fruit trees and magnificent camellias. The two-story structure known as the “Sternberg House” or the “Jewel of the Coast” was sold in 1999 by the Sternberg heirs to the Nords.
For more than a year, extensive restoration was made to the home by many talented and dedicated people. Every effort was made to maintain the original integrity of the turn- of- the- century house with special attention to the columnar structure and Scamozzi capitals. The floors were carefully refinished to reflect the beauty of the original wood. A commercial kitchen was added.
In March 2000 the “resurrected” house became the third venue for The Chimneys. For five years, The Chimneys proudly hosted lunch and dinner as well as weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, showers, anniversary celebrations, and a variety of special events.
Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster in United States history, completely destroyed the century old building on August 29, 2005. All of the camellias, azaleas and native foliage were uprooted. The magnificent oaks were stripped of their leaves, and one large tree split in half.
January 5, 2010 marked the official opening of the current and fourth Chimneys. As representatives of the next generation, Sophie and Watson Nord have joined their parents as partners in the new venture. Their energy and contemporary views have brought a fresh and youthful dimension to the established restaurant.
With the design flair of architect Keleal Hassin and the construction genius of Dan Hensarling, Inc., three years of planning and building yielded an open veranda Coastal- Acadian style structure. The new building was created to reflect the Nord family’s vision to offer the “feel” of the old storm-ravaged house and yet a comfortable space compatible with the new post-Katrina Gulf Coast.
Old bricks from the destroyed house were carefully saved, cleaned and used in the current double fireplaces. The ornamental brackets which flank the arches surrounded the eaves of the old restaurant. The heart pine floors, approximately 200 years old, were reclaimed from a house in North Mississippi. The large white spheres which anchor the curved front porch steps survived Katrina and reflect the original stairs of the Queen Anne house.
Efforts to foster energy efficiency have been incorporated in the new building including a mini-split heat/air system, demand-feed hot water, and double-pane windows.
Thanks to the landscaping savvy of Jay Marcel and the generosity of Warren Paving, the hurricane damaged lawn and driveway are at their beachfront best. The stately oaks have recovered and are thriving.
Fun Fact: The Chimney’s Restaurant has been serving patrons since 1985. In addition to lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, Chimneys offers a variety of dining and celebratory opportunities. They serve delicious seafood & steak in a sophisticated, white-tablecloth setting.
Address: 1640 E Beach Blvd
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday; 11:00-2:00; 5pm-9pm
Sunday Brunch: 11:00am-2:00pm; Closed Mondays
Accessibility: accessible ramps; accessible bathroom