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Making Mooves: New burger joint Moos to open in Natchez within few months

Moo’s Café owner Matthew Vines puts lights up in the restaurant that he hopes to have opened by mid-March or April. Vines purchased the building in August and will double as a bar and restaurant that will serve a selection of burgers along with oysters and wings. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Moo’s Café owner Matthew Vines puts lights up in the restaurant that he hopes to have opened by mid-March or April. Vines purchased the building in August and will double as a bar and restaurant that will serve a selection of burgers along with oysters and wings. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — A new burger joint will open this spring — and with a college-town twist.

Matthew Vines, who purchased in August the building at the top of the hill near the Mississippi River bridge at 3 Government Fleet Road, said Moo’s Café will open mid-March or April.

“I’m going at (opening the restaurant) with a college-town perspective,” Vines said.

Vines, who has remodeled the building with the help of his family and friends, is shaping the eatery’s atmosphere and menu after those he frequented while a student in Baton Rouge.

The restaurant will serve hamburgers, wings, gourmet hotdogs and feature a crawfish and oyster bar, six daiquiri machines, two outside patios, multiple televisions and an outside projector to screen large sporting events.

“I lived in Baton Rouge for three years, and everywhere had crawfish and outdoor seating,” Vines said. “We don’t have anything like that here.”

Vines hopes to bring the college town feel he experienced in Baton Rouge to his restaurant in Natchez. Specifically, he hopes Moo’s Café will be a place where people can visit with friends, dine inexpensively and watch football in a casual atmosphere.

“People can come (here) any way they want. Come in shorts or a tux. I don’t care,” Vines said.

The restaurant, characterized by a large painted statue of a cow that overlooks its side patio, was named after a nickname Vines received as a child.

“When I was a baby everyone called me Moo-Moo or Ma-Moo,” he said.

Vines, who keeps his dog Albert close by much of the time, was also sure to include man’s best friend in his restaurant offerings.

Each Wednesday, restaurant patrons will be invited to bring their dogs with them to what Vines plans to call “Doggie Night.” Moo’s will make peanut butter treats for the dogs who attend and will have water bowls on each patio.

Bringing dogs to the restaurant is not a health code violation because they will only be allowed outside, Vines said.

Although Vines graduated from Louisiana Culinary Institute in Baton Rouge in August 2013, he plans to focus on operating the business and will not be the head chef for the restaurant. Fayth Herring, who was head chef at Slick Rick’s for four years, will serve as the head chef and restaurant manager.

“I like to think outside the box, and I like to do it big,” Herring said in reference to her cooking style.

Vines is a 2010 graduate of Trinity Day Episcopal School and said he looks forward to the opening of his first restaurant. In the future, he hopes to open more restaurants and have the opportunity to start a chain.

 

 

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