Over the summer, Hartford, Connecticut, residents were introduced to the state’s first MOOYAH, an upbeat better burger joint that’s been sweeping the nation off its feet with its craft burgers, fries, and shakes. In early March, Hartford County will have a second MOOYAH restaurant, located in West Hartford, that includes some of MOOYAH’s recent design changes.

The new restaurant will be at Bishops Corner in the Big Y plaza next to People’s Bank at 772 North Main Street.

Franchisees Matt Rusconi and David Vorchheimer, who introduced burrito brand Moe’s Southwest Grill four years ago to the town they also call home, are psyched to bring a MOOYAH restaurant to West Hartford.

“This community means a lot to us. We chose Bishops Corner because it’s experiencing a revitalization, and we hope we can contribute to its renewed energy and spirit,” Rusconi says. “We also think MOOYAH will appeal to locals in the area by giving them a new restaurant experience with a comfortable, neighborhood feel.” 

Community involvement is a major part of Rusconi and Vorchheimer’s business philosophy, both with their previous restaurant ventures and their new MOOYAH restaurants. Grand opening celebrations in March promote two worthy causes, University of Hartford Athletics and the Hartford Junior Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

At one celebration, nearby university students will enjoy a free bus ride to the restaurant where meals will be on the house. Diners will be able to donate funds to go toward tickets for area kids to attend a University of Hartford game.

At a second grand opening, the restaurant will open to the whole community and part of the proceeds will go to the JDRF.

“We’ve had a great time establishing relationships with so many local organizations through Moe’s, and we take a lot of pride in that,” Rusconi says. “Bringing better burgers to Bishops Corner is exciting, but it also gives us even more opportunities to give back.”

The brand’s burgers are better for a reason. Guests can customize their meal in a million ways, from choosing a freshly-baked white or whole wheat bun or a hand-leafed lettuce wrapper to opting for never-frozen 100 percent American beef, Jennie-O turkey, or the delectable veggie burger. Each patty is grilled to perfection by hand and served with unlimited veggies and a choice of nine sauces.

Fries come together in a six-step process that takes 24 hours, constant attention, and a little magic to transform fresh spuds into the perfect combination of crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Craft shakes and drinks live up to their signature label, with top quality teas brewed in house daily and poured over pellet ice.

Craft shakes are handmade to order to create the optimum consistency for a thick, frosty, unbelievably rich treat. Guests can choose from classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate, or opt for some of the restaurant’s new toppings that include cookie dough, heath, peanut butter cups, and more.  

“The food is outstanding at MOOYAH, but it’s also a real, comfortable place to come enjoy a meal,” Vorchheimer says. “People are welcome to come as they are, relax, and enjoy their food exactly the way they want it. Our food quality sets us apart, but so does our integrity and genuine enthusiasm for what we do.”

Burgers, Consumer Trends, Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Design, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Pizza, Moe's Southwest Grill, Mooyah