NEW STRAITSVILLE — Two people have downsized a certain European country and placed it in New Straitsville.

Over the summer, Glen and Melissa Burchfield bought New Straitsville land at 110 W. Main St., made plans and are nearly finished with their Little Italy Pizza shop.

Multiple inspections need to be passed for new business owners to bring their dreams to a reality, and Melissa said they have passed all inspections so far, including their recent electrical inspection.

Dec. 26, the electrical inspection was completed, and Little Italy Pizza passed with flying colors.

“They (the inspectors) just made sure all of the breakers we have in the box are correct, and all the wiring to them is correct,” Melissa remarked.

Before opening, Melissa said American Electric Power (AEP) will turn the power on for their shop.

“Since we passed the electrical inspection, they (the inspectors) called it in to AEP,” she mentioned. “They said they will be turning on the electric within the next 10 days.”

Earlier that day, more renovations were made to the soon-to-come shop. Starting around 8:30 a.m., the sidewalk was under construction and was completed later that day. According to Melissa, the sidewalk and other parts of the shop are handicap accessible.

“We will have a handicap parking space right in front of the shop,” she mentioned.

A project that began in June was originally thought to have taken only a few months. Now that January has almost arrived, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer for the owners and residents, who are excited to enjoy some pizza.

Melissa said problems with some of their equipment caused a few delays, pushing them back a couple of weeks. She mentioned the problems occurred mostly with the ovens; they were not ready in time.

“We had some other delays, but we did order brand new equipment,” she stated. “So far, we are on schedule to be done and open by the middle or end of January.”

Of course, a few last minute touches are needed to be complete before opening.

Melissa said that they have one more inspection left to pass which deals with the health department, as well as the final inspection of the building overall.

Last week, the owners checked another final touch off of their to-do list: installing the hood that is over their oven.

AEP will need to turn on their electric before the drywall can be finished this week. Once the drywall is installed, a fiberglass reinforcement plastic (FRP) board is to be put over the drywall. According to Melissa, the FRP board is needed in order to follow health department requirements.

“Once that is up, then we will have to seal the concrete outside,” she commented. “As soon as that is done, we finally get to decorate.”

No employees have been hired yet for Little Italy Pizza, only one worker from the shop in Glouster, who was transferred to the new location. Melissa said the owner of the Glouster franchise is allowing one employee to go to New Straitsville’s franchise.

About 10-12 more employees are need to be hired once the owners start accepting applications within the next few weeks.

The excitement continues to rise for community members, but the finish line is in sight.

“We are excited, and the people in the community and surrounding communities have been really excited and supportive,” Melissa added. “We have even had a couple of people offer to put dibs on the first pizza sold.”

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Emily Moore is a reporter with The Logan Daily News

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