Openings and Closings

Moe's Original Bar-B-Que opens a Boulder outlet

Moe's Original Bar-B-Que first fired up the pit more than ten years ago, when three Alabama natives -- Mike Fernandez, Ben Gilbert and Jeff Kennedy -- made their way to Vail and set up a restaurant to hawk the food they grew up eating. Since then, Moe's has proliferated, and the guys have opened many locations across the South -- and seven outlets in Colorado.

Today, they're adding another address to their portfolio: Boulder's first Moe's opened its doors for lunch just a few hours ago.

Mike Shelly, who also runs the Moe's in Bear Creek, is in charge of this restaurant, though Lorrie Dixson, who does public relations for Moe's, notes that it's not exactly a franchise. "We call it a family of restaurants," she explains. "We only have friends and family running the places; it's not just any franchisee."

Still, Shelly has the freedom to make slight alterations to the Moe's menu -- while he serves up smoked turkey, pulled pork and catfish, Dixson also notes that many Colorado operators like to offer vegetarian specials, particularly in communities like Boulder.

The new restaurant, located near 30th and Baseline -- an area rife with CU students -- boasts 75 seats in the dining room and sixteen seats on the patio. Shelly has also put an emphasis on the full bar, hoping to lure in a vibrant, college-age nightlife scene.

Moe's has plans to open a handful of other restaurants around the country this year, but Dixson says there's nothing on the books for Colorado for 2012. The next local town to get a pit will be Frisco, she notes, "but I don't think that will happen this year."

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk

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