Workers sealing bricks, painting outside of Biscuit|[10/05/06]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2006

Work on a downtown building that housed a restaurant and bar has resumed after three years.

The work on the former home of The Biscuit Company Cafe, 1100 Washington St., is to continue improvements that were under way when mud and sewage began seeping through walls in July 2003, forcing the popular night spot to close.

&#8220I’m finishing what I started” before that damage occurred, said the building’s owner, S.J. &#8220Skippy” Tuminello.

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The work began Friday and is expected to take three or four weeks, Tuminello said. It will include painting and work on the building’s exterior plaster and bricks.

A goal is to improve the old building’s appearance consistent with wishes of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation and the City of Vicksburg’s makeover of Washington Street.

Work on the street during that 2003 makeover was blamed for the seepage and resulted in a lawsuit that has been settled for an undisclosed amount.

The Biscuit Company was operated by Les and Sandy Pearman. Tuminello said Les Pearman has said &#8220he’s very interested in reopening” the restaurant, but nothing is definite.

The building once housed the National Biscuit Company, hence the establishment’s name.

The seepage occurred following heavy rains from Feb. 20, 2003, until July 3, 2003, Tuminello said in the lawsuit he filed against the city and its contractors on the project in Warren County Circuit Court in February 2004.

The city announced in July the suit had been settled.

The building’s lower level had been vacant for several years when it was remodeled and reopened as The New Orleans Cafe 33 years ago.