Tuesday morning at around 11:50 a.m., the dining area at Moe's Southwest Grill, the newest eatery to open at the Storrs Center complex, was nearly bare.
The Dog Lane restaurant had just opened for the day less than an hour before and the lunch crowd hadn't started to trickle in yet. Yet.
Within 15 minutes a line had started to form that could have easily snaked around the tables if it had not been for the swift service of Moe's staff. Tables in the dining area became scarce and dozens of to-go bags were being carried out the door.
Welcome to Moe's!
Co-owner Matt Rusconi of West Hartford said he and his business partner are pleased with the opening and the community response. This location is one of several for the team, which also own restaurants in West Hartford, Hartford, Glastonbury, Waterford and soon-to-be in Groton. The group will also be opening Mooyah Burgers and Shakes in another section of the center in the coming weeks.
Rusconi kept one eye on the front door and the people quickly queuing up at the counter as he managed other aspects of the restaurant while fielding questions from a reporter. It came a point, though, that he could no longer standby. He put on some gloves and took a position next to Moe's Area Manager Kyle Lynch and others to start serving up the chain's trademark burritos.
“It’s been busy,” Lynch said during a short break in the action, adding that it hasn’t been a slow opening. He attributes this to the constant flow of foot-traffic in front of the restaurant during renovations, particularly from University of Connecticut students.
“Having a younger crowd presents some challenges and brings something new. The toughest part has been training the news staff and being so busy as soon as we opened,” Lynch, who will also manage Mooyah when it opens, said.
Moe’s hours are not set in stone yet, but one thing for certain is that while UConn is in session the eatery will be open until 2 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday. They’ll also offer a special each Monday that includes a burrito and a fountain drink for $6.99.
For more information about Moe’s visit the company’s website or stop by the new Storrs Center location. Rusconi, Lynch and the staff will be certain to great you with a hearty “Welcome to Moe’s!”