Moe’s Southwest Grill Officially Opening Friday

photo: steve bauer

by: Michael Martin Garrett

State College’s newest burrito joint is opening this week – bringing with it the tempting promise of free burritos, tacos, and more. Moe’s spokesperson Stephen Donnelly promises tasty food with quality ingredients, but he says Moe’s tries to be more than just a restaurant.

“We don’t want to just open the doors and say ‘spend money here,’” Donnelly said. “We like to get involved with the community.”

And to prove it, Moe’s is coming into Trader Joe’s plaza on North Atherton Street with a bang. The new eatery will host three fundraising parties, and will donate all of the proceeds to three State College schools. Stop by Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. to support State High, Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 for Mount Nittany Middle School, or 6:30 to 8:30 for Park Forest Middle School.

Events like these help generate excitement for the official opening on May 29, but they serve an even more important purpose – saying hi to a new home and showing support for the community. Donnelly said it’s not uncommon for these parties to raise thousands of dollars for each school.

But the real fun will happen early Thursday afternoon, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – “the big community blowout,” Donnelly calls it. Moe’s will don some special blue and white décor in honor of its new home, and everyone who stops by during that four-hour window will get free lunch and a free shirt.

“The first 75 people through the door get free Moe’s for a year. We’re doing this at all our locations and people love it,” Donnelly said. In the past, Donnelly said people have camped out overnight and lined up outside the building to score this 52-week-long prize. And Moe’s is more than happy to reward that enthusiasm with an edible gift that keeps on giving.

Despite so many fast-casual-type burrito joints already in State College, Donnelly isn’t worried about competition. “We think State College is really the perfect location, and we’re looking forward to a lot of fun.”

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