ST. GEORGE — The Original Mo’s Seafood and Chowder, a must stop restaurant on any trip to the Oregon Coast, is coming to Southern Utah, bringing their famous clam chowder base to locations in Cedar City, Hurricane and St. George on April 9. Pre-orders are being taken now.
Mo’s opened doors in Newport, Oregon in 1946. Mo and her friend Freddie – both women – opened doors to a restaurant named Freddie and Mo’s. When Mo’s friend Freddie fell ill, she bought out the restaurant from her, according to information on Mo’s history.
From that time on, the restaurant saw its share of lows and highs – cars crashing into the restaurant, fires and floods, but also, expansions, movie cameos and a sometimes rich and famous clientele.
Mo is described by family in a Mo’s 70th anniversary video as a “hard drinking, smoking, huge personality.”
The restaurant has been passed down through generations of family and is currently operated by Mo’s granddaughter, Cindy McEntee and great-grandchildren, Gabrielle McEntee and Dylan McEntee, along with other family members.
In 2001, Cindy McEntee was awarded first runner-up, National Small Business Person of the Year. The award was presented by President George W. Bush.
Today, Like many restaurants facing difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic, Mo’s has struggled to keep their decades-old business afloat. The original Mo’s in Newport, Oregon remains open for take out and delivery, but their eight other locations up and down the Oregon coast are currently closed for business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They have had to lay off the majority of their staff and can only keep their Newport location open by staffing it with almost all family, Dylan’s wife, Celeste McEntee, said.
As a testament to the ingenuity and fortitude that the restaurant’s founder, Mo, had, her progeny have come up with a creative solution to providing their tasty chowder to the masses while staying safe and healthy.
To that end, Mo’s will be delivering their famous clam chowder base as well as canned albacore tuna to four locations in Southern Utah.
The restaurant’s famous chowder base is manufactured in a USDA certified kitchen facility and vacuumed sealed in 35 pound and 1 quart bags before it can ever hit the air to lock in freshness and maintain sanitation, McEntee said.
The factory makes approximately 500,000 pounds of clam chowder base a year, some of which is sold in retail grocery stores, the rest of which is used in Mo’s restaurants across Oregon.
Customers will be able to purchase the one quart bags which feed between 4-6 people.
“You guys are going to get the chowder the same way our restaurants get it,” McEntee said.
To make the chowder, customers just add milk and cook. Instructions will be provided on the bag. The base has an approximately 30-day shelf life in the fridge – about 25 days by the time customers in Southern Utah receive it – and can be frozen for up to 5-6 months, McEntee said.
McEntee added that while it is possible to cook it straight from its frozen state, it is better to let the chowder defrost in the refrigerator prior to cooking to maintain texture and consistency.
Additionally, customers can purchase 7.5 ounce cans of albacore tuna, caught by the same supplier that provides fish for Mo’s restaurants.
Other offerings include marionberry cobblers (supply limited to only 100 cobblers), Mo’s house-made garlic cheese butter and home-baked bread loaves.
Dylan McEntee, along with Carter McEntee, will be loading up a trailer and delivering the chowder and tuna to Southern Utah residents in Cedar City, Hurricane and two St. George locations April 8.
In order to adhere to safe social distancing and other health practices, the deliveries will operate like a drive up. Customers will pull up and receive their order through their car window. Both McEntee’s will be wearing gloves and face masks to protect customers from any potential spread of the virus, Celeste McEntee said.
Bags of the chowder base are $13 per quart, 7.5 ounce cans of albacore tuna are $7 per can, cobblers (while supplies last) are $25, garlic cheese butter is $6.50 per 12 ounce container and bread loaves are $6 each.
In the spirit of Mo, who was known for her generosity throughout her community, $1 of every chowder bag purchased will be donated to the Utah Food Bank.
“We’re in the business of feeding the hungry. Through the spirit of Mo’s giving tradition, we’re still committed to that goal,” a Mo’s Facebook page post recently said about their efforts.
Customers can pre-order the chowder base and other offerings by emailing [email protected]. Payments will be accepted through Venmo @chowderstg. Cash payments will also be accepted. Customers who plan to pay by cash are asked to put the cash in an envelope with their name, amount and order written on the front of the envelope.
Orders will be delivered to the following pickup locations April 9:
- Cedar City Walmart, 1330 S. Providence Center Dr., Cedar City.
- Hurricane Walmart, 180 N. 3400 West, Hurricane.
- Red Cliffs Mall parking lot near Dillard’s, 1770 E. Red Cliffs Dr., St. George.
- Parking lot near Christensen’s Department Store 761 Bluff St., St. George.
Pickup times will be sent to those who pre-ordered April 7.
- Mo’s Seafood and Chowder | Online orders to: [email protected] | Pay by: Venmo @chowderstg or by cash. Customers who plan to pay by cash are asked to put the cash in an envelope with their name, amount and order on the front of the envelope | Delivery date: Thursday, April 9. Times to be announced Tuesday, April 7. | Facebook | Instagram.
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