Moe's empty storefront

The storefront on Ninth Street, where Moe's Southwest Grill used to be, has been empty for months. 

The downtown location where Moe’s Southwest Grill used to sit — 308 S. Ninth St. Suite 101, if you're keeping track — remains shuttered, sad and empty, despite its prime real estate. As the months go on and the blinds remain shut, Vox can only dream of what might take its place in the coming years. Ninth Street is a haven for delicious eateries and small businesses, plus easy access to MU campus makes it a great place to stop and shop between classes. So, as we daydream about potential Moe's replacements, we came up with a few suggestions for whatever (or whoever) might claim the space next. 

We'd love to see ...

A downtown bagel shop

For years in this town, we've wanted a downtown bagel shop. No hangover, early-morning errand, carb craving or trek to the office is complete without a warm breakfast bagel sandwich from local favorite B&B Bagel Company. But since the beloved stop remains on Nifong Boulevard, we think a second location downtown would be almost as good as B&B's cream cheese.

The return of Walmart Express

Flags were held at half mast — okay, not really, but they should have been — when the downtown Walmart Express closed in October 2016. Where would people find their affordable snacks? What if you needed a one-stop shop for frozen pizza, NyQuil and hair ties? Sure, Hitt Street Mini Mart (a.k.a. No Gas) is only a few blocks away, but the Ninth Street location made Walmart Express so much more convenient. 

Anything not owned by Brookside

If downtown Columbia were a game of Monopoly, Brookside would have won ages ago. It’s honestly shocking the company hasn’t had the time to make the Moe's spot into another gym, leasing center, tanning center, study room or apartment complex. We're hoping it stays that way. 

A dog cafe

This is a bold concept, and perhaps we should take it to Shark Tank to work out if we could really do this thing. But hear us out: Papa’s Cat Cafe is every cat-lovers' dream, so why exclude our other domestic household pet friends? Imagine your afternoon slump crushed by the love of a dog — and a warm cup of coffee — within walking distance of MU campus. We’ll wag our tails to that idea.

An early-morning coffee shop

Sure, downtown already boasts a number of local (and chain) coffee shops, but not one of them is open before 6 a.m. Believe it or not, many of us are early risers, and we need our cup of joe before the sun starts to peak over the horizon. The spot where Moe's used to sit would be ideal for a coffee shop serving during those wee hours of the morning. 

A barbecue joint

Smack in the center between Kansas City and St. Louis, Columbia should have no problem getting its hands on good barbecue. And although our city has a few great spots for 'cue, there's little to be found in The District. Why not get the smokers cookin' now that Moe's has hightailed it out of town? 

Do you have suggestions for what should take up residence at the old Moe's spot? Let us know @VoxMag on Twitter. 

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