The owner of Quatro’s Deep Pan Pizza, a pizza place beloved by generations of college students in Carbondale, is being remembered for his commitment to the community.
Blake Morrison died while on a cruise ship while on vacation in the Bahamas, according reports from the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the restaurant. Morrison was 29.
A cause of death was not announced. He was found unresponsive near a pool deck on Wednesday morning, according to police on the island of New Providence.
Quatro’s has invited the public to visit an interactive memorial mural in the storefront adjacent to the restaurant on West Freeman Street.
“Please join us in experiencing and contributing to this heartfelt tribute. It would mean the world,” the restaurant said in a Facebook post.
The mural will be open from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.
“Blake’s proprietorship of Quatro’s is supported by a team of family and friends who will carry this business forward,” the restaurant said.
“We are open, we appreciate your support, and we will carry on the business to honor Blake’s legacy and fulfill his dreams.”
The Southern Illinoisan reported that Morrison bought the restaurant in February from the previous owner, Steve Payne, after serving in management for nearly five years.
“Four years ago I couldn’t have imagined running the iconic Quatro’s,” Morrison told The Southern late last year. “Steve saw something in me that I hadn’t yet seen in myself. It means a lot that he took a chance, and it means even more that he’s leaving the Quatro’s legacy in my hands.”
He graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a degree in business management, the newspaper reported.
The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce said in a statement, “We are truly sorry to hear of the passing of Blake Morrison, he was an active chamber member, and a fellow business owner, who would always make time to chat and share business experiences.”
Over 200 people have expressed their condolences on the Quatro’s Facebook page.
“Blake was part of a new generation of Carbondale residents investing in our community and going above and beyond to make a Carbondale a good place,” one post read.