State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Different Kind of Mexican Restaurant to Open in May

by on February 11, 2015 6:30 AM

"Everybody is welcome at Moe’s. Except, of course, fugitives."

That's the unconventional come-on from Moe's Southwest Grill, a national chain that promises fun, an unorthodox menu and a family-friendly environment.

One of Moe's newest restaurants is slated to open in State College in the not-too-distant future.

Moe's was founded in Atlanta, Ga. just 15 years ago and now has several hundred restaurants scattered across the country.

The State College franchise is owned by Larry Wilson, a restaurateur from Binghamton, NY. Wilson owns 14 Moe's restaurants in New York and Pennsylvania.

The chain's one-of-a-kind menu includes dishes with imaginative names such as "The Homewrecker" and "Joey Bag of Doughnuts." (For the uninitiated, those are burritos.) Other offerings include "Taco Called Wanda" and the "Close Talker" salad.

Wilson's spokesperson, Stephen Donnelly, says the food is terrific with a lot of variety. "They use all fresh ingredients, nothing frozen or anything like that. The taste of the food is a big selling point for Moe's. They have a lot of options from vegan-friendly to vegetarian meals."

Donnelly says the Moe's culture is a "really good fit" for the State College market, especially because diners aren't rushed out the door.

"At Moe's they want the people to come in," he says. "They want families to come in and eat together, enjoy some time. They have televisions in there. They have nice ambiance, the lighting, they have comfy food. It's a nicer, family-friendly atmosphere.

"The food's delicious. It's very fun. Everybody is very friendly. It's very warm. It's very inviting."

There's also an emphasis on community involvement and philanthropy with plans for "fun-raisers" that help schools, charities and non-profit organizations.

Moe's is heading for a now-vacant storefront at Trader Joe's Plaza, just off North Atherton Street. It's scheduled to open sometime in May and is expected to create between 30 and 40 jobs, some part-time, some full-time. The restaurant plans to hire all positions, from servers to managers, in the State College area.

So what will customers think, once Moe's opens it's doors? "They're going to say the food is delicious, very fast -- fast service is one of the things we pride ourselves on," predicts Donnelly before adding, "We're excited to be in State College and we're excited to welcome everyone to Moe's."

To learn more about Moe's Southwest Grill, visit


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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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