Merrill's Pizza is newest entry into restaurant business

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, May 14, 2012

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Ray Merhed is co-partner in Merrell's Pizza at 1207 W. Poinsett Street. The pizzeria features pizza and subs. Merhed has worked at his family's restaraunts before opening Merrell's.

Ray Merhed is co-partner in Merrell's Pizza at 1207 W. Poinsett Street. The pizzeria features pizza and subs. Merhed has worked at his family's restaraunts before opening Merrell's.



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Willis Terrell, managed and worked at several pizza restaurants before partnering with Ray Merhed to open Merrill's Pizza. Terrell provides entertainment with his dough tossing techniques.

Willis Terrell, managed and worked at several pizza restaurants before partnering with Ray Merhed to open Merrill's Pizza. Terrell provides entertainment with his dough tossing techniques.



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Merrill's Pizza is at 1207 W. Poinsett Street and is open every day.

Merrill's Pizza is at 1207 W. Poinsett Street and is open every day.

It’s unusual to find a family-owned pizzeria that embodies family values and features a dessert creation called peanut butter and apple pizza pie.

Ray Merhib and Willis Terrell, best friends since the sixth grade, have partnered in opening Merrill’s Pizza at 1207 W. Poinsett Street. It’s located next to the popular Carnival Confections. “I think we kind of feed off each other,” Merhib said, with no pun intended. “I think what we offer complements each other.”

Interestingly the partners inquired about Kelvin Miller’s restaurant next door, one day after the lease was signed. Two weeks later they agreed to build next door to form a kind of twin-food plaza. Merrell’s opened May 1.

Merhib and Terrell began working in the family restaurant business as youngsters at Memo’s restaurant, owned by Merhib’s mother, on Laurens Road. Terrell was general manager at Pebble Creek Pizza when both began nurturing the idea of owning their own pizzeria.

“We feel like we produce a good product and our Greer location is pretty good,” Merhib said. “We’re creating a family-style atmosphere restaurant. We will serve beer but I’ve never been an alcohol person and won’t be selling that. We’re in the pizza business, not the alcohol business.”

The restaurant has its own entertainment. “We intentionally built the open kitchen window so people can watch the dough tossing,” Merhib said. “Willis does it well and I’m beginning to learn it.”

Merhib said he is emphasizing the family atmosphere and is planning on a Family Night once a week. “Family Night has been eliminated by our society. No one sits down and eats together. Once a week I want families to come here to eat pizza together and enjoy family.”

Terrell’s menu includes a stuffed mushroom pizza to honor his mother. “Every Thanksgiving she makes stuff mushrooms. There are other items tied to our families.”

“It took a while to develop the (peanut butter and apple pie pizza). That comes from working in kitchens and having a lot of stuff left over and playing with ideas,” Terrell said. He developed the entire menu and it features some family favorites.

Two big screen TVs are strategically placed for customers. The tables have been sanded the chairs are cushioned with metal backing.  Scott Dancy of Dancy Interiors in Greer built the L-shaped counter.

The lunch price point is $4.55 for two slices of pie and a drink. A sub, fries and drink is $6.95. A 12 inch, 2 topping pie with two drinks is $11.55 and a 14-inch 2 topping pie is $13.95.

Merrell’s is open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Thursday, Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday noon – 10 p.m. Dine in, delivery and carry out are available.

 

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