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Keep ME Open: Bridgton diner that joined lawsuit against Mills happy to be back open

The family-owned restaurant opened this week after being forced to shutdown during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BRIDGTON, Maine — The family-owned Morning Glory Diner in Bridgton opened fully after being closed for more than six weeks Wednesday.

"My parents built it in 83," Terri Perreault said. "Now there's four generations."

Perreault, along with her brother, her sister-in-law and a business partner bought the business back after another owner purchased it from her parents in the 90s. 

"It's my parents' legacy. They built it. It was their dream and we just want to keep that dream going," she said.

To do that, the family joined a group of several Maine businesses in a lawsuit against Gov. Janet Mills to challenge the constitutionality of her COVID-19 restrictions.

Perreault said their business, despite being in a small rural town, was negatively impacted by rules in place for Cumberland County because of cities like Portland. 

"I think a lot of people were frustrated," she said. "It was for them to be aware that we're a small town. We're not part of the big city and we just wanted to open our business."

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Mills announced her decision to lift restrictions this week to allow all restaurants in the state to offer indoor dining, but never mentioned the ongoing lawsuit as a factor in her decision. 

"Maine people and businesses have worked hard to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and the stabilization of cases and hospitalizations in York, Cumberland, and Androscoggin counties help demonstrate that,” Mills said in a statement Monday. “But this pandemic is not over. As we reopen restaurants for indoor dining and other businesses in these areas, we remain vigilant."

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Morning Glory Diner has created a new outdoor patio space and taken additional precautions to protect staff and customers. 

For Perreault, she and her family just want to do whatever they can to keep the business going for generations to come. 

"We've been here forever and we want people to come here to live and in order for that to happen we need some sort of success," she said. "We're plugging away day by day!"

You can find local small businesses open near you by going to the Open Near Me section of our website.

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