May 21, 2009
By Tim Simard
After more than two years of planning, Williston will finally get it’s own Moe’s Southwest Grill. The restaurant should be open and operating sometime this fall, said local franchise owner Sueayn Wood.
Last week, DEW Construction Corp. crews broke ground at the Moe’s site, located off Marshall Avenue on Trader Lane in Taft Corners. The restaurant will be situated just east of PetSmart.
The Williston restaurant will be the second Moe’s in Vermont. Wood and her husband, Philip, own a Moe’s on Williston Road in South Burlington. The restaurant, which offers a “fast casual” cafeteria dining experience, serves burritos, fajitas, quesadillas, tacos and nachos, among other southwestern foods. Prices for most menu items are less than $10.
The South Burlington Moe’s has been open for nearly three years and is the seventh highest revenue-producing restaurant in the chain, according to company spokesperson Lauren McGowen. She said the chain has about 400 locations, mostly on the East Coast and in the Midwest.
Wood said affordability and quality food bring in customers from all over the Burlington area.
“It’s a very value-oriented concept,” Wood said. “Everything is made fresh and everything is made to order. And Vermonters appreciate those things.”
Having two Moe’s locations relatively close to one another should bring more customers to the franchise, Wood said. Having a restaurant in Taft Corners could bring even more awareness to Moe’s for Williston residents and other shoppers to the big box stores, she added.
“It amazes me to this day how many people in Williston don’t know about Moe’s,” Wood said. “I think they’ll be totally excited when they see what we have to offer.”
Moe’s Southwest Grill could also be the first LEED-certified restaurant in Williston. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a national standard for green and sustainable building construction. Projects that work toward LEED certification must adhere to a list of environmentally oriented construction designs to receive certification.
Wood said with the help and guidance of DEW Construction, Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas Systems Inc., Moe’s should obtain its certification. She said it’s an expensive process, but well worth it in the end.
“I don’t feel I could do this any other way,” Wood said. “It’s a part of my value system now.”