Local Business Update: Gran Morsi reopening

The folks at Gran Morsi, the restaurant on the north side of Warren between Church and Broadway, are reopening today for pickup and delivery, after being closed since March 15. The restaurant will be offering a smaller menu to start — the classics — but then will ramp up as the weather gets warmer and more local produce is available. They are also offering cook-at-home kits, like pizza making and pasta bolognese, “great for a date night at home,” said owner Vip Manchanda.

When the pandemic first hit, Vip closed the restaurant since he didn’t feel he could keep employees healthy, especially when he couldn’t even supply them with masks and other protective gear. But now that there’s been more clear guidance from the CDC on safe practices, and since his regulars have been increasing eager for the restaurant’s return, he decided to open again — Tuesday through Sunday, 4 to 10p. His staff, he said, is really ready to get back to work.

But clearly nothing is the same. Previously they had a staff of close to 50; they will be running this operation with seven including delivery staff. “We have a big space and can keep to a social distance even in the kitchen this way.”

The restaurant has incurred huge losses — along with everyone — especially since they did a brisk events business, and those were cancelled and for the most part were not rescheduled. Vip does not foresee opening for lunch for the rest of the year, since he guesses a lot of the local offices will continue to have people work from home. That will make it harder to cover rent, but the reduced labor costs will lower the overhead as well. Basically, they are winging it. “We can only make decisions with the information we have currently.”

“But we are pretty optimistic that business will eventually recover,” said Vip, who took over Brick from the previous owners in 2014. “We will definitely get back to dining in, because we don’t think that social interaction can be replaced.” He figures the need to celebrate — birthdays, anniversaries, weddings — can’t be extinguished. “We may have different rules in terms of capacity, but people still want to go somewhere, to have that experience. That can’t be replaced.”

Gran Morsi
22 Warren Street