Top places to eat and drink on First Friday in Gulfport

Pictured Above: Entrance sign at the Gulfport Brewery + Eatery. (USF/Catalina Rasdall)

By Catalina Rasdall

First Friday in Gulfport is an event that brings all types of people together to share one common interest – art. People with multiple talents come out to show their work to the public. Aside from the art brought by the vendors, there was also the art of food. 

There is a place for all appetites. Gulfport Brewery + Eatery, the only brewery in Gulfport, is where you can get fine craft beer along with original entrees. And the petite ice cream joint Let It Be, delivers homemade ice cream in a family setting. 

Gulfport Brewery + Eatery, “Where Gulfport Gathers,” has only been in business since July 2020. The owners felt lucky when they stumbled upon the available location.

“We were thrilled to have landed this location; we weren’t looking at the time but thankful that it was open,” The brewery’s owner said. 

This small craft brewery is very different from a typical brewery because of its unique interior and exterior design. It is designed and decorated around the structure of the house it is in. As soon as you walk in you get the feeling of having a large cookout at a neighbor’s house, and you are just going inside for a quick drink before going out to mingle. 

There is an endless list of draft beer on tap which included Gulfport Gold Ale, Gulfport Port Pride and the Gulf Porter. On First Friday, the owners of the brewery offer samples of their beer outside which consist of an English Red Ale to satisfy fruit lovers with a subtle flavor of apple. Inside, a multiple dining set around the fireplace can be seen, which is a part of the house structure. 

The environment of the brewery allows customers to come in and enjoy their beer in a family setting. After purchasing a beverage, it can be taken out to the lit up backyard of Gulfport Brewery + Eatery. The outside beer garden area is filled with patio furniture set underneath the tree string lights. This section of the brewery is what they are most proud about because it allows for safe mingling keeping in line with social distancing.

Patio furniture giving off a home feeling at the Gulfport Brewery + Eatery. (USF/Catalina Rasdall)

Gulfport Brewery + Eatery came to Gulfport while the pandemic was at its peak. They were welcomed with open arms by the community and made it their number one priority to ensure safety for all their customers. One of their major ways to guarantee safety was to make the beer garden as open and spaced out as possible. 

Gulfport Brewery + Eatery doesn’t only have handcrafted beer, but also a full menu ranging from delicious starters such as beer boiled peanuts which are cooked in their red ale to beer pretzel containing their beer cheese. These appetizers incorporate the brewery’s well-known beer mixed with their own special ingredients to create unique shareables. The appetizers represent the homestyle feeling of Gulfport Brewery + Eatery. 

Their entrees include gourmet dogs such as, Bad & Bougie which include two all-beef Memphis style hotdogs made with barbeque, bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and scallions. A perfect entrée to share with a date or a friend. 

The Gulfport dogs are two all-beef hot dogs wrapped in bacon, drenched in a pineapple jalapeno salsa and served with any choice of chips. This entrée represents the weirdness that is Gulfport Brewery + Eatery

There is always something new at Gulfport Brewery + Eatery, you can check on their social media, @Gulfportbrewing, for their daily specials or of course, ask the bartender. The brewery allows you to taste various beers and enjoy delicious appetizers and entrees at a reasonable price.

“Keeping Gulfport weird” is Gulfport Brewery + Eatery’s motto, and in comparison with other bars and restaurants, they are staying true to their motto. 

The exterior of the house is modest and welcoming, there is nothing traditional when comparing it to other breweries with their spacious lit beer garden. The interior of the house allows for conversation and time spent with friends and family. 

After one of Gulfport Brewery + Eatery Gulfporter and their well-known 420 stack nachos with pork, beef or chicken, it is time for dessert. Keeping in theme with family style eatery, Let It Be ice cream has homemade ice cream and milkshakes for an affordable price. 

Let It Be ice cream creates homemade small batch flavors daily. These flavors include: chai matcha, chocolate peanut butter, banana pudding and so much more. 

Let it be ice cream shop instantly welcomes you with friendly workers who are ready to serve customers. The ice cream is owned and run by Janet Impastato and Tina Grello. Their shop was only a walk-up window in August 2019. Now they operate as a full-service ice cream shop near by their original window where it all began.

The inside of the Let It Be ice cream shop. (USF/Catalina Rasdall)

Ice cream is always a hard dessert to decide on but that is not an issue at Let it Be. They allow you to sample any flavor of ice cream to ensure you get the best experience. 

First Friday in Gulfport opens your eyes to  local businesses with great, different personalities. Gulfport Brewery + Eatery embraces the weird and wants to incorporate its own style into Gulfport. They bring you a grand beer garden open enough to have a cookout with new friends. Let It Be ice cream shop lets you try new flavors handcrafted daily. With excellent customer service helping you spend time with the people you are sharing your ice cream time with. 

Go on down to First Friday in Gulfport. Gulfport Brewery + Eatery and Let It Be ice cream shop are only a few places out of many that have yet to be discovered.