Moe's Original Bar B Que (3150 Calhoun St., 504-301-3790; www.moesoriginalbbq.com), a Colorado-based barbecue chain started by a trio of University of Alabama students, opened its first New Orleans location Dec. 27.
The restaurant sits in the shadow of Tulane University's Yulman Stadium, in a corner building near Calhoun and S. Tonti streets, a spot formerly home to Kokopelli's restaurant, which has stood vacant since Hurricane Katrina.
The franchise is owned by Bryan Hargett and Stephen Lane and is the first local spot for the national chain, which was started in 2001 and has more than 40 locations.
"For how big of a city New Orleans is, there was a real void for barbecue and I wanted to get into the business myself," says Hargett, a Birmingham, Alabama native who now lives in New Orleans. "Anyone who wants to open a franchise has to go to Vail (Colorado) and train with the owners, so we spent 13 months out there, learning the recipes."
Diners can expect standard Southern barbecue fare, including platters of Alabama-style pulled pork with white sauce, smoked chicken and turkey, fried catfish, wings and ribs. Everyday sides include baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and banana pudding. A selection of rotating Southern specials runs the gamut from red beans and rice and jalapeno cheese grits to smoked pork chili and Mississippi mud pie.
Moe's Original Bar B Que is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.