Mexico Beach, a tranquil and serene slice of “old Florida” beloved by so many, was ravaged by Hurricane Michael this past October. Illustrating the community’s resolve and passion for its longtime visitors, many of whom made the community their second home, the Mexico Beach Welcome Center reopened its doors on Dec 4. Located next to the original Welcome Center at the west entrance to Mexico Beach adjacent to the canal, the structure serves as a meeting point for visitors, community members and workers all equally passionate about rebuilding Mexico Beach.
“This stretch of sand is home or a home-away-from-home to so many and our temporary Welcome Center now provides everyone with a location to stop by, say ‘hello’ and feel the resiliency of Mexico Beach,” shared Mexico Beach Community Development Council President Kimberly Shoaf. “We have been so touched by the outpouring of support from our devoted visitors, who are a dynamic part of this unforgettable coast and community, which holds such a special place in everyone’s hearts.”
There is tremendous work and activity taking place in Mexico Beach to rebuild. A massive beach clean-up is underway to clear the beach and dunes of debris with an RFP submitted for clearing the heavily damaged canal. Construction and cleaning crews are repairing many of the salvageable structures that sustained damage during the storm. A variety of properties are still being assessed for next steps in the rebuilding process.
Three restaurants have re-opened in limited capacity to serve visiting work crews and locals who have been able to move back into their homes. Caribbean Coffee was the first restaurant to open their doors back in the community and has its full menu available. Mexico Beach favorite Mango Marley’s has opened a food truck in the parking lot of the original, serving breakfast and lunch daily as well as serving meals to neighboring Tyndall Air Force Base. Rustic Sand’s Grill is providing breakfast and lunch three days a week and is having live music on Friday & Saturday for residents and the many workers supporting clean-up efforts to enjoy.
The Mexico Beach Community Development Council is grateful to each and everyone who continues to keep the town in their hearts and will continue to provide updates as available.