GULFPORT, Miss. — Gulfport’s Fishbone Alley has made its debut as a brick-paved and art-filled downtown walkway.

The alley once littered with trash bins, “unsightly and smelly” opened Sunday.

Fishbone Alley, which is now a part of Gulfport’s entertainment district, features go-cups, which allow people to stroll from venue to venue with an alcoholic beverage.

The back doors of restaurants and bars are now front doors for people who meander through Fishbone Alley. Some of the venues have small patios in the alley. Other seating areas are available throughout the area.

“It is energizing downtown Gulfport,” said Scott Levanway of Gulfport as he walked through the alley.

“I got a drink just because I could,” he said.

The alley has reclaimed brick pavers circa 1906 and whimsical artwork, including redfish and a guitar-playing mermaid. Three strands of small lights zigzag above, strung from upper floors of the buildings, for a festive nighttime view.

“I feel like I’m in the Bahamas,” Leo Weixel of Amite, Louisiana told The Sun Herald ( “This is just so nice.”

Seven restaurants and bars flank one side of the alley.

Gulfport artist Mallory Hopkins was putting some finishing touches on a large butterfly she painted to cover a company’s box for telephone and fiber optic service. She said she may do more painting to brighten up the area or help cover utility boxes and such.

Rodger Wilder of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation says the Knight Foundation, which makes investments “to re-invigorate” communities, gave $27,000 toward the alley’s creation.

The city spent about $250,000 to build the alley. The money came from post-Katrina streetscape money.

Information from: The Sun Herald,

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