Call it a homecoming for Dwight “Dewey” Hasbrouck.
The 1986 Orono High School graduate has spent the last 20 years in the Southeast, with the last 10 in Nashville.
He’s returned with a taste of the Southeast, in the form of Moe’s Original Bar B Que. Hasbrouck is the owner of that chain’s 20th franchise, located at 650 Broadway in Bangor, in what was formerly Jimmy V’s The Place to Be.
Hasbrouck, 43, and his wife, Emily, made the move because they felt that Maine was the right place to raise their son Leo, 1½. Owning a restaurant gave Hasbrouck a chance to leave behind his job as a Zimmer orthopedic medical supplies salesman.
“Medical sales was never what I wanted to do,” he explained. “This is what I wanted to do, and this is the time to do it.”
Hasbrouck has been a Moe’s fan for a number of years.
“We met the founders [three Alabama natives] eight years ago while skiing in Colorado,” he recalled. “We became friends with them.”
The rest of the franchises are either in Colorado or the Southeast, with the closest one to Bangor in Asheville, N.C.
“They’ve branched out slowly, only giving franchises to family and friends,” explained Hasbrouck, who has an economics degree from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in business administration from Vanderbilt University.
Hasbrouck has carefully revamped the space that for a long time housed a Kentucky Fried Chicken. With a capacity of 55, the restaurant’s front atrium will have family-style seating in a relaxed atmosphere, while the main dining room has several high-top wooden tables. A small bar offers a place for folks to enjoy barbecue while watching sports on one of the large-screen TVs.
“Moe’s is all about down-home hospitality and atmosphere; it’s barbecue, sports, and music,” Hasbrouck explained.
Although Moe’s is billed as ‘Bama-style barbecue, Hasbrouck said it’s more of an overall taste of the South.
“The menu has combined the different types of barbecue,” he said. “There’s a Memphis-style rub on the dry ribs. There’s a white sauce from North Alabama. There’s a little bit of vinegar-flavored sauce on the pulled pork.”
So what’s on the menu? For platters, there’s pulled pork and smoked chicken, turkey, chicken wings, or fried catfish. Each is paired with two sides and cornbread. For sandwiches, there’s pulled pork and smoked chicken, turkey or fried catfish, along with a fried shrimp Moe Boy. Each comes with two sides and a drink.
Hasbrouck said it’s the sides that put Moe’s over the top. Standards on the menu are baked beans, marinated slaw, potato salad, a bag of Lay’s chips, banana puddin’ or cornbread, with another four to six sides rotated in each day.
Moe’s also offers Double-Wide and Triple-Wide Family take-out packs and catering services.
Barbecue has always been a niche food in the greater Bangor market. Still Hasbrouck is optimistic.
“I think the timing is right,” he said. “There’s a lot of barbecue on food channels, and everyone is familiar with it. I hope people like what we’re serving, and they’ll come back.”
Moe’s is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. To place an order, call 992-9000.