HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - For the last 32 years, the Purple Parrot has been providing a fine dining experience for hundreds of community members.
“Back in March, when the pandemic hit, we served our last meal before we shut down here at the Purple Parrot,” said owner Robert St. John. “What we didn’t know at the time was that it would be our last meal forever.”
But, the restaurant hasn’t had it’s final goodbye just yet.
It’s having a final farewell this week, to give loyal customers one last Purple Parrot meal.
“It didn’t feel right,” St. John said. “It didn’t feel like we had closure. We just kind of shut down and weren’t going to reopen. We’ve had so many people dine here over the years, and I wanted to do a kind of final farewell to give us some closure and the town.”
St. John says a lack of outdoor seating is one of the leading factors in the decision to close the restaurant entirely.
“This business model doesn’t really work going forward in kind of a post-COVID world,” St. John said. “We need more outdoor seating, things like that. There are a lot of factors.”
There were more than 100 reserved slots available for the farewell tour, and after just a couple of days of announcing the tour, all were taken.
He says he’s thankful for the love and support his business has gotten over the years.
“I’m grateful to the people who’ve worked here, the managers who have come through,” St. John said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done here. There’s no regret. There’s no shame. I’m not upset that we’re closing. It’s really nothing but a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for what’s happened in this room.”
St. John says that in the upcoming weeks, there will be a new concept that will be replacing the Purple Parrot.
“We have a new concept coming in that will cover both areas and have a large outdoor area,” St. John said. “We’re going to add on. It’s going to be a really, really cool addition to Hattiesburg and the Hattiesburg dining scene.”
The farewell tour began Tuesday evening and will end on Saturday.