Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que Brings Old-School Flavor To New Chattanooga Location

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fifteen years ago, three guys from Tuscaloosa, Ala., bought a gooseneck trailer and started a summer barbecue business on a street corner in Edwards, Colo. Each day, they put out hay bales for seats and wire spools for tables, and diners could not get enough of their freshly-smoked meat. When they sold out of food for 100 days straight three summers in a row, the partners decided they were onto something.

Ben Gilbert, Mike Fernandez and Jeff Kennedy met at the University of Alabama and learned their
old-school meat smoking techniques from backyard barbecue master Moses Day, who everyone called “Moe.” He taught them to use fruit wood to smoke the meats, and Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Kennedy developed two distinctly-flavored sauces that bring out the flavors of the hand-pulled pork, smoked chicken wings, turkey and ribs that Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que smokes fresh daily.

The business has expanded into a nationwide chain with locations in 10 states that are each operated by local franchise owners. Jason Jones, who owns both of Chattanooga’s Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers franchises, is opening the newest Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que location at the former Rhythm ‘n’ Brews site at 221 Market St. with partners Levoy Knight and Travis Griffith.

The Chattanoogans spent time in Vail, Co., learning smoking techniques from Moe’s pitmasters. “My favorite part of the barbecue process is cutting into a turkey breast and seeing that it was done exactly how I would want it served to me,” Mr. Griffith said. “That’s the great thing about Moe’s Original – the food is great, the process is simple, and there are no bells and whistles that get in the way of service.”

In addition to freshly-smoked meats, the new Chattanooga location will serve a rotation of 60 Southern side dishes and house-made desserts. All of the menu items will be made from scratch daily in limited quantities.

“It’s a get-it-while-it-lasts approach that ensures everything is as fresh as possible,” Mr. Jones said. “You’ll never get yesterday’s leftovers at Moe’s.”

This strategy has earned Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que dozens of local food awards as well as national
accolades, including being named one of the Top 10 Rib Joints in the United States by Relish and one of the Top 10 BBQ Chain s in America by USA Today and by The Daily Meal.

Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que Chattanooga opens Monday, Feb. 27, at 11 a.m. and will serve diners lunch, dinner and drinks from a full bar seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Catering is available for off-site events.

Diners can follow the restaurant on Facebook at for daily specials once the restaurant is open.

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