The days to enjoy a sit-down meal at Morey's Grille in Baxter are numbered.
Morey's Grille, with the famous giant fish sign on Highway 371 North, will close its restaurant at the end of business on March 31 and will relocate its retail and deli business, Seafood Markets Ltd recently announced.
Seafood Market will suspend operations of its Morey's Market retail store after April 7 with expectations to open its new store in time for the summer season.
Stephen Frank, company president, said he could not release just where the store would be relocated except to say it will be within the Baxter Highway 371 strip. More information on an exact site may be released in a few weeks.
Morey's has been part of the lakes area for 29 years and had the full-service sit-down restaurant as part of its business for 12 years.
Frank said the company made a decision to focus on expansion of its core retail fish and seafood trade and its Web-based shipping business.
"We reached the point where we fell the restaurant market in our area is a little oversaturated in our market," Frank said.
Seafood Markets, Ltd. will continue to operate Morey's Market in Motley, moreysmarkets.com, and its corporate office during the transition to new facilities.
The relocation for Morey's Market will include expanded deli operations and offer all the products so people can get the food they want to eat at home.
"The hottest trend in dining out is dining in," Frank said.
With the closure of the restaurant, Frank said they will need fewer employees at least at the outset but he expects the new site will make up for that overtime.
Frank said leaving the restaurant business left him with mixed feelings and he hated to tell long-standing customers the news.
"We love that business," he said. "We think we know enough about it to be good at it so I have mixed emotions about it."
Frank said they had a combination of a well-qualified staff, unique menus and fair prices, but from a fiscal perspective it makes more sense to focus on the company's core retail market.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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