PLATTSBURGH - Moe's Southwest Grill is open for business.
Owners Sueayn and Philip Wood of Shelburne, Vt., opened the doors to their newest business venture in the town of Plattsburgh Nov. 4, making it the opening of their third Moe's location. The southwest fare and the atmosphere of Moe's are things that drew the Woods to begin purchasing Moe's franchises more than six years ago.
"We used to winter in South Carolina and go to the local Moe's there," recalled Sueayn. "My husband would ask if I thought it would work here."
And, it has, she said. The success of their Vermont Moe's locations in Burlington and Williston led them to examine the other side of Lake Champlain. When they learned of the former Lum's Family Restaurant location at the corner of State Route 3 and Labarre Street, Sueayn said she was excited because Plattsburgh reminds her of her native Watertown, a city more than 150 miles west of Plattsburgh.
"This was such a super location, we decided to jump on it," she said. "It made me feel like home."
That's exactly how Sueayn and her husband want people to feel when they walk through the door and hear employees shout "Welcome to Moe's!" - the chain's familiar greeting.
"It's a good value and it's also a fun atmosphere," said Philip.
The new location will also build upon the Woods' reputation for using their business to give back to the community, said Sueayn. One example was how a preview party held at Moe's the evening before the restaurant's official opening collected donations for the Adirondack Humane Society, Elmore SPCA, and St. John Feral Cat Fund.
"We try to do a lot for the community," said Sueayn. "Especially for animals. Animals are my husband's and my love."
"We sponsor animals as much as we can, otherwise my wife adopts them," said Philip, laughing.
Moe's also gives people in uniform - such as police, EMTs, firefighters and military personnel - 25 percent discounts when they come to the restaurant in uniform and 10 percent when they're not and have valid identification.
"Growing up in Watertown, I was so close to Fort Drum," said Sueayn. "I respect the men and women in uniform. They serve us, they serve the community."
Having a close relationship with the people they serve is important to them, said Philip.
"We would rather be known as Plattsburgh Moe's than Moe's in Plattsburgh," he said.
The Plattsburgh Moe's offers items on its menu that are made to order with fresh ingredients and is one of five locations nationwide that offers Carvel Ice Cream. The restaurant, located at 474 State Route 3, is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and may be reached at 324-MOES.