Wednesday, December 18, 2019

[CLOSURE ALERT] Moe's Deserts "The Oasis" in Sandy Springs

Moe's Southwest Grill has shuttered its short-lived prototype restaurant on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs.  The corporately owned restaurant at 6090 Roswell Road is just under a mile north of I-285, and occupied a freestanding building adjacent to Mellow Mushroom and Rumi's Kitchen, among others.  The Moe's, originally a franchise location, first opened in late 2011.   

The Sandy Springs location closed last fall for a month or so before reopening October 19.  When the restaurant reopened, it debuted not only a new logo and interior design, but also several new menu items.  The company referred to the new look as "The Oasis." 

Requests for comment from Moe's PR & Communications Manager Lindsay Haynes on the reason for closure, the fate of the test logo and related design elements, and what might replace the shuttered restaurant were not immediately returned.  

Among the new menu offerings were an Avocado Caesar Salad, Quinoa Power Bowl, Street Taco and Torta: Applewood Smoked Brisket, Bolillo Bread, Frijoles, Chihuahua Cheese, Mayo, Sliced Tomato, Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro and Ancho BBQ Sauce.

"The Oasis," made its "official" debut last November at a completely new Moe's on Ernest Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw.   According to the online menu, the Kennesaw location no longer has any items unique to its location.  The Quinoa Power Bowl, which was subsequently launched nationwide, is the only item left from the "Oasis" menu. 

Inside the Sandy Springs Moe's shortly after it opened last fall 
The Oasis menu items were developed by a culinary team at Moe's led by Ciaran Duffy, the brand's then Executive Chef.  Duffy, who previously launched the ill-fated Bantu Noodles at Avalon, had been with Moe's owner Focus Brands for just under four years before he left this past April to become Senior Corporate Executive Chef at Subway, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

The restaurant's new look, the result of "in-depth research and interviews with new and loyal guests," felt contrived in comparison to traditional Moe's restaurants.  The Sandy Springs restaurant also debuted higher prices, in some cases on similar, if not identical items to other area Moe's.  

No doubt Moe's is trying to differentiate themselves in what has become an increasingly competitive market - both for tacos & burritos and in the quick-serve space at large - but this closure does not bode well for the chain. 

The brand, with humble beginnings on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, has grown into a mega chain with over 700 locations nationwide, including 70 or so in Georgia.    

In Atlanta, however, the chain has seen a number of locations close in recent years including  those in Atlantic Station in Midtown and Glenridge Point in Sandy Springs, where in both cases the restaurants were replaced by Salata, a growing salad chain.  Moe's also closed a longtime location at Ansley Mall in Midtown which reopened as Atlanta's third Chopt, another salad chain.  

A few miles north of the Sandy Springs restaurant, a franchised Moe's at 8290 Roswell Road remains "temporarily closed" following a fire earlier this year.  

What were your thoughts on the rebranded Moe's on Roswell Road?  What is your favorite taco & burrito quick serve restaurant?  What would you like to see open in the former Moe's in Sandy Springs?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Team Willy's for life.

Anonymous said...

Willys all day.
Quality shows, stores close

amyers said...

We have on of these "Oasis" stores in Columbus (Phenix City) market. It confuses more people than it helps.

Patrick said...

Willie's every day and night. The chips and salsa give it away: Moe's chips are like what you get at a gas station at 4am when you don't care, and the salsa tastes like it came from a jar.. and lo and behold, they now sell it in stores in a jar. Guk. Willie's clobbers them in every way except being on every corner. Moe's is everywhere. It has not helped their quality at all.

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