The Elks Lodge in Sidney has undergone many changes in the last couple years, including a bit of a building facelift and new restaurant service operating out of the kitchen facility. Ryan Laqua, Elks head trustee, said the board knew it was time for some work.

“This started a couple years ago,” Laqua said. “We started by remodeling the inside. We painted the walls, all new flooring, new lighting, things like that. Once that was completed, we started the next phase which is the outdoor project going on now.”

The outdoor area will see a whole new patio, including new concrete and a designated smoking area.

“It was time for an update,” Laqua said. “Some of things in the buildings were getting dated. Also, it’s something for the community. The Elks is a community building. It hosts anniversary parties, wedding receptions, safety meetings and various other things. The Elks is a good place for all that and we think it’s important to keep it looking nice and vibrant.”

Moe’s Smokin’ Grill has also found a home in the Elks kitchen, offering lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. — 8 p.m. Moe’s is owned and operated by Eric and Keri Brown along with Cheryl Olson, who lease the kitchen from the Elks.

“Everything seems to be going well. Everyone who comes in seems to enjoy their food,” Laqua said.

Keri said the idea for another barbecue restaurant came from her and her husband being pestered by old customers.

“Everybody just asked us to open up again and here we are,” Keri said.

The couple operated a barbecue restaurant in Fairview for about a year in 2012, but Eric has been cooking the saucy cuisine for 15 years and Keri for about 10 years. Keri said the restaurant has been busy since they opened about two months ago.

“We didn’t expect it to be like this,” Keri said. “On a good day we serve 75-100.”

The barbecue tradition goes back a long ways with Keri.

“I’ve been cooking with my mom since I was little,” she said. “We have what we call our ‘secret sprinkle,’ our own barbecue sauce.”

“The secret is in the sauce,” Olson said.

While Keri and Eric man the meat, Olson kicks in homemade goodies, like her pecan pie. The restaurant provides meals for many meeting groups, including Kiwanis, Lions, ONEok breakfast, Sun Well Services and of course Elks meetings. Moe’s caters events of all sizes, offers take-out orders as well and is child-friendly.

Moe’s Smokin’ Grill is open to the public. People do not have to be Elks members to patronize the restaurant or bar. Keri said when dart and pool leagues start-up, they will be there to serve the food.

In addition to the new restaurant, the Elks Lodge also hired new manager Missy Letherman, who comes equipped with years of bar/restaurant managerial experience.

Letherman said the restaurant and bar are mutually beneficial, as Moe’s doesn’t need a liquor license since the Elks has one and now they can offer patrons food.

For catering or take out orders from Moe’s Smokin’ Grill, call 406-480-7673.

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