With some 43 spots, New York is among the top 10 states when it comes to locations of Moe’s Southwest Grill (according to the corporate site, Florida and Georgia top the list with 89 and 78 locations respectively), but save for one location in Queens and the stands in Yankee Stadium, most denizens of the city have had few opportunities to become acquainted with the chain. There’s the spot in Penn Station, which gives Long Islanders (who seem to be in love with it — there are eight or so locations on the island!) the opportunity to grab a quick Homewrecker burrito to eat on the LIRR, but otherwise little saturation. So it will be interesting to see what kind of inroads can be made into Manhattan by Glenn Buchholz and Frank Ferrantelli, the franchisees who last week announced the reopening of the First Avenue branch and their plans to open two more locations in the city by the end of 2013.
"We are thrilled to bring these restaurants into the heart of the city — it was only a matter of time before Moe’s took over Manhattan," Buchholz noted in a release.
If Buccholz and Ferrantelli plan to take over Manhattan, they’ll have a little thing called Chipotle that they’ll have to contend with, but for now they don’t seem intimidated. Reports are that they have big hopes to keep expanding and be "the guys" to bring Moe’s to prominence on the streets of downtown New York.
"We chose neighborhoods with a mix of residential and commercial occupants to get the brand in front of as large a cross-section of New York City customers as possible. We really like the Midtown East area," said Buchholz. "We’re aiming for late April in Kips Bay and early June in Murray Hill."
Arthur Bovino is The Daily Meal's executive editor. Follow Arthur on Twitter.