ASHLAND Mr. Gatti’s Pizza on U.S. 60 has closed.

T.J. Morrison, community and economic development director at Boyd County Fiscal Court, said he was as surprised as anyone. The county wasn’t notified about the closure, but there was no requirement to do so.

Morrison said there have been “rumblings” that interest has been expressed about the property, but no deal has been reached and no one has contacted him directly.

“I’m sorry to see it go,” Morrison said. “I had birthdays there as a kid and I took my kids there.”

He said it's not too shocking they closed because, like many other small businesses, the buffet faced many challenges from the pandemic and was closed to dine-in customers for months.

“It's sad, but hopefully someone can come in,” Morrison said. “It's a great property. We're going to put them in our portfolio of properties we pitch to potential clients. We'll do what we can to get a new tenant or owner.”

Records show Mr. Gatti's has been in business at that location since 1990, Morrison said. Dan and Cheryl Pyles have owned the property since 2000.

Morrison said he will meet with Retail Strategies, a national retail firm that partners with cities to grow retail opportunities, this week and the building will be a topic of discussion. He said his initial meeting with the company is scheduled for Thursday. The county recently entered into a three-year contract with Retail Strategies.

“The quicker you get someone in there, the less chance you have of the building going down,” he said.

Despite some losses during the pandemic, Morrison said he believes the area has done better than most at sustaining local businesses.

“Our area is probably more fortunate than some,” he said. “I chalk that up to the resilience of small business owners and their ability to adapt.”

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