Located on East Magnolia Avenue, Moe’s Bar B Que of Auburn serves students and families the same barbecue recipe developed by “Moe” almost 30 years ago.
“The owner of the property actually came to Moe’s in Tuscaloosa to ask us if we wanted to open a restaurant in Auburn,” said Moe’s Bar B Que co-founder Mike Hernandez.
Since opening, Moe’s Bar B Que of Auburn has been serving barbecue and Southern-style dishes to more than 500 students and residents each day.
The Auburn location marks the 17th Moe’s Bar B Que restaurant to open since the original Moe’s Bar B Que opened in 2001.
Hernandez grew up in Tuscaloosa and attended Auburn University from 1983 until 1987.
When his brother dropped out of school at the University of Alabama, Fernandez’s father asked him to leave Auburn to run a restaurant he had purchased for the two brothers to start together.
In 1988, Fernandez and his brother opened their barbecue restaurant in Tuscaloosa after learning how to roast meat from Moses Day.
Also known as “Moe,” Day had been firing up the barbecue pit at the country club in Tuscaloosa for many years. Day’s style of barbecue inspired the roasted meats as well as the name Moe’s for the barbecue restaurants open today.
In 1996, when Day became ill and was no longer able to work for the restaurant, Fernandez decided to dissolve the business and try his hand at culinary school in Vail, Colo.
Two of his friends, Ben Gilbert and Jeff Kennedy, had worked at Fernandez’s barbecue restaurant in Tuscaloosa and had also moved to Colorado around the same time.
After living in the mountains for a few months, Fernandez, Gilbert and Kennedy saw the need for good barbecue in Colorado and decided to start their own restaurant in Vail.
The three opened the first Moe’s Bar B Que in 2001 and continue to expand.
The restaurants located throughout Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama are owned by different partners, each of whom has experience working at various Moe’s Bar B Que locations.
Fernandez said Gilbert, Kennedy and himself take turns visiting each Moe’s Bar B Que location for one week out of each month.
John Moss, former employee of the Moe’s Bar B Que in Tuscaloosa, manages the Auburn location along with Ryan Hesley, Gabo Fernandez and Brent Boyd.
Moss said he hopes Moe’s Bar B Que in Auburn will serve students and families.
“We aim to be a real family-oriented place,” Moss said.
Fernandez said he plans to support local farmers in the Auburn area by buying produce for the restaurant locally.
“At Moe’s we’re all about serving great food with integrity,” Fernandez said.