Vail restaurateurs roll with the Crimson Tide |

Vail restaurateurs roll with the Crimson Tide

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EAGLE, Colorado – Lots of members of the Alabama Crimson Tide will be properly nourished when they square off against Penn State today.

Moe’s Original Barbecue’s Tuscaloosa store will be on ESPN’s College Football GameDay today, depicting smiling Tide players enjoying the same perfectly prepared ribs at Moe’s Tuscaloosa store that regular mortals like us eat all the time.

“The ESPN producers brought in some Bama boys and got ’em to eat some ribs,” said Jeff Kennedy, one of Moe’s owners. “It’ll be on ESPN U as part of the pregame, but we don’t have any idea when or how much.”

Kennedy, Mike Fernandez and Ben Gilbert are in their version of heaven, a football Saturday in the Deep South where the only thing as important as college football is the tailgate party that goes with it.

Penn State is in Tuscaloosa for the nationally televised game. Kickoff is 6 p.m.

The Moe’s crew will be tailgating along with the rest of the Crimson Tide.

“We came down for the game and we’ll be there with bells on,” Kennedy said Friday night from the rowdy Moe’s restaurant.

Moe’s is one of those American success stories. They started it in Tuscaloosa, where the partners met at the University of Alabama. They were lucky enough to learn the craft of smoking meat from barbecue legend Moses Day. Jeff wandered off to Vail to be a ski bum and Mike ended up here to attend Johnson and Wales culinary school.

They started Moe’s by building their first barbecue pit from parts scrounged from their landlord’s junkyard.

In nine years, they’ve expanded from that junkyard pit to 16 restaurants with no debt, Kennedy said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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