Pasco's Pizza is still open. This would not normally be news, but last Friday was to be the restaurant's last day in business, until its two managers offered to buy Pasco's from the owners.

"We were sitting there [Thursday] night, just toward closing there, back by the videogames. The girls were kind of moping," soon to be ex-owner Bill Pursglove said. "They said 'well, why can't you sell it to us?' And I said, 'well, I don't know. Do you want to buy it?' ... So by midnight, they were calling their significant others."

Long-time managers Brenda Groh and Deena Pribble's purchase of the restaurant is still pending, but Pursglove is happy about the prospect of handing over the restaurant to those who have been running it for years already.

"I'm excited about it, the legacy's going to be there," he said. "As far as I'm concerned in my restaurant, the most important people are the staff. If they're happy, you'll be happy."

"This initially was just a part-time job," Groh said. "I was a full-time mom, looking to get out of the house once in while."

"I was a starving student," said Pribble. But the staff and the customers soon changed what was to be a short-term job for both of them into something more. "It doesn't become a job any more. ... It becomes more of a family thing."

Pasco's originally opened as Round Table's Pizza in 1981, although Pursglove has only owned the restaurant since 1989. The restaurant broke off from the national chain several years ago, and the restaurant was renamed, using Pursglove's wife Jeanne's maiden name. (Her family is Sicilian.)

"I should have done this last year," he said. "I was just really worried about the crew."

"It wasn't a total surprised," Groh said.

"Logically, you always know all good things may come to an end," Pribble said.

"He would always say that: 'I might go to Hawaii,'" Groh said.

"We were talking and I had mentioned to him before that 'Brenda and I could take over like that,'" Pribble said.

"He didn't get that conversation then," Groh said.

"We had everyone in the community coming in" when the restaurant was going to be closed down, Pribble said. "It was so touching. ... So Brenda said again, 'how about us?'"

Deciding at the last minute not to shut down the restaurant has meant a bit of scrambling to keep the lights on.

"Now the airplane's pulling into the gate, we're going to shut the engines off, and now we're going to take off again," Pursglove said. "Now we have to scramble to get everything going again."

And all three say that Pasco's will remain the same as it has been, since it'll be the same people running it, even if their titles change.

"It's always going to be in the back of our head," Pribble said. "'What would Bill do?'"

"We'll be out here a little while," Pursglove said. "I told the kids I'd be staying with them a couple of months and help out. I've got a feeling it'll be a bit longer than that, because they said they'd give me for free pizza for life. But I told them the first time they call me in to do dishes, they have to put me on the payroll."

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.