Never would I have run across Moochies Tavern on my own. It’s in Matthews, 30 minutes from my house, in a shopping center in the middle of nowhere. Since finding out about it, I’ve been twice. There is music almost every night, an extensive menu and a warm and welcoming vibe.
Jody Goff and Rhonda DeMello worked at Harris Teeter when a mutual friend was diagnosed with ALS. As they helped their friend with her “suck-it list,” they realized they shouldn’t wait on their own bucket list. Goff and DeMello had always dreamed about owning a restaurant.
Moochies Tavern opened in 2013. The name “Moochie” is significant to DeMello’s family. At night, when her children were young, she gave them a “moochie woochie,” their special phrase for “kiss.” When it came time to name the restaurant, it was an easy decision.
Inside Moochies, one corner is dedicated to the Imbibe Wine and Craft Cocktail Bar. Inspired by the craft cocktail bars in Asheville, they take their time and use fresh ingredients. Craft cocktails are priced from $10-$15.
The menu has a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and burgers, with specialty items include pig wings, bacon steak, shrimp ceviche, lamb sliders and chipotle bison. Prices range from $8-$12 for lunch and $8-$16 for dinner.
But music is the heart of this restaurant. It is offered six out of seven nights, and there is never a cover charge. They hire award-winning bands like Taste Like Chicken, Bad Romeo, Tantrum, Stolen Hearts and CJ & Brother Max.
But local talent is also part of the scene. One 15-year-old musician,
Gabrielle Sophia, said, “After playing at Moochies Open Mic a few times, I suddenly felt like a part of this musical family. As a very young musician I was provided with playing time, support, mentors and inspiration.”
Each night’s theme is different:
Tuesday – Shannon Lee’s Open Mic Jam starts at 7:30p.m.
Wednesday – Double threat with half-price bottles of wine and music.
Thursday – Young musicians from the Charlotte area perform.
Friday and Saturday – Acoustic on the patio from 6-9 p.m., then rock, pop or country inside from 9 or 10 p.m.-midnight or 1 a.m.
Sunday – Blues from 5-8 p.m., with a once-a-month Blue Jam session. (If it is Panthers football season, they cancel. They have their priorities in order.)
Moochiepalooza, a three-day benefit for Charlotte St. Jude Dream Home scheduled for May 13, 14 and 15, to feature more than 20 bands.
Photos: Jan Jensen, Jennifer Bolick, Moochies Tavern, Chris Austin, Shannon Lee