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By Jay Mullen

Bill Morse worked tirelessly after purchasing property back in November to open the doors of Morse’s Diner and Pizzeria on Feb. 24.

Three weeks later, COVID-19 hit hard.

“We had thought about closing right at the beginning, but we didn’t. We kind of held on as long as we could,” Morse said.

After weathering the storm for a few months Morse was forced to close his doors temporarily on July 12.

Now, almost exactly two months later, thanks to help from a grant he received, Morse is set to reopen.

Morse said he hopes to open on Thursday, Sept. 10.

When he closed his store Morse went to Rep. Elise Stefanik and state Sen. Betty Little looking for support. “The support from Stefanik’s office was phenomenal,” Morse said.

This outdoor seating area will include tables, a new bandstand for live entertainment and a fire pit.

He said that Stefanik reached out to the Small Business Administration. They all worked together to help secure a grant for Morse’s business.

Morse said that the grant money was used to install a new HVAC system, roof repairs and replacing the storefront windows, which will be completed soon.

“It helped us out a great deal,” he said. “Getting stuff all caught up and getting the repairs done that were still needed.”

Morse’s Diner and Pizzeria will be able to fill its indoor seating to 50% capacity, which Morse says is a maximum of 40 customers. He also plans to take advantage of the property’s outdoor seating, which can fit about 40 to 50 more people.

The outdoor setting area will have tables set up, a new fire pit in the middle and a bandstand for potential live music to be enjoyed by all patrons.

Morse said that he has cut his staff by a large number by cutting his delivery service and wait staff. Prior to COVID-19, he said, he employed 32 people.

When they reopen they will have a staff of five or six.

“I made cuts where I needed to make cuts,” he said.

The menu is set to look a little different when the doors open at Morse’s. The only fried food that he plans on serving is the chicken wings, because people were upset when they heard he may be getting rid of them.

He was told that he needed to bring the wings back. He was told that “wings go with pizza hand-in-hand, and you have the best.”

Morse heard words like that echoed by community members in stores all over Granville. He even heard people saying it to him while he was pumping gas, he said.

Accompanying the wings on the menu will be pizza, three different salads and cold subs.

Lunch specials will be offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day they are open. One of these specials will be two slices and a can of soda for $6. The other will be pre-made small sub, chips and a can of soda also for $6.

Morse’s is also improving its website, which will host the new menu and the option for people to order online for pick-up. Go to www.morsespizza.com when they reopen to see the new menu and learn more about online ordering.

Their new hours of operation will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sunday and Monday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Morse said he is thrilled to have his business loved by so many in the community.

“To be able to come in and do something like this is really awesome,” he said. “To have the people say ‘man, your pizza is the best we can’t wait for you to open,’…It’s pretty awesome.”

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