Jeremy Biondi built it and the customers came. Since opening on March 2, Moo’s BBQ second location on West 18th Street South near Interstate 80 has been filled with customers, especially during the evening dinner rush.
“We’re doing really well, we’re doing double what we did downtown and downtown is still viable,” Biondi said.
Biondi gives some of the credit to his prime location on Highway 14 at the 164 exit of I-80. Although the building sat vacant for 12 years, he said people from all over are starting to realize the eatery is now open and serving up food.
“I’ll come through and see Kansas, Illinois and Minnesota license plates and have even seen quite a few from New York,” Biondi said.
The new location serves all of the great barbecue that Newton has come to know and love along with new items thanks to the addition of a fryer.
“We have fried pickles, French fries, onion rings and cheese balls out here. I might add a flat top or char-broiler eventually, maybe in the fall,” Biondi said.
It also features a drive-thru window for customers on the go.
Biondi had an uphill climb when he decided to open a second location in the former Kentucky Fried Chicken building. The entire restaurant had to be remodeled from sandblasting the epoxy covered floors to installing the custom-made booths created by Biondi himself.
Replicating the same feel of the original location, wooden bars and tables line the red walls and pictures of cows and pigs hang throughout.
In the back, Biondi brought in a new 200-pound smoker along with two 100-pound smokers from the downtown location that have the capacity to smoke 400 pounds of meat at one time. He also had to work on lighting, electrical and plumbing systems, repairs to a leaky roof and adding a cooler.
With so much work to do, Biondi had to push back his opening date by about six months.
“We wanted to get things going in September or October, but there was just too much to do,” Biondi said.
Moo’s original location on the southwest corner of the courthouse square is still open for lunch Wednesday through Friday through April. Starting in May, Biondi plans to also have it open on Tuesday as well.
Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or firstname.lastname@example.org