Smiling Moose deli to open in Watford
By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer
The Smiling Moose Rocky Mountain Deli will open its fourth North Dakota location, and 19th nationwide on Monday, Oct. 26, at its Grand Opening in Watford City. And the restaurant will be kicking off its ‘Soft Opening,’ on Sunday, Oct. 25, with all proceeds of that day going to the Watford City High School building project.
“Nathan Everson, my business partner, and I are both from North Dakota and have always been involved in our communities,” said Liza McLean, co-owner of both the Williston and Watford City Smiling Moose Rocky Mountain Deli stores. “As North Dakota natives, we are both really excited to get involved in Watford City and to be able to be another option for residents to dine out.”
Inspired by the adventuresome spirit of the Rocky Mountains, a group of mountain-loving friends opened the first Smiling Moose in Edwards, Colo., in 2003. One of the first signature hot sandwiches they created was the award-winning Original Mo! that piles sizzling grilled meat and cheese on a fresh-baked baguette, is toasted in an oven to meld the flavors, then topped with crisp lettuce, tomato, red onions and banana peppers, all finished with a tangy vinaigrette and seasoning for the perfect savory bite.
The Original Mo! quickly became a favorite among guests and more than a decade later, is still one of the most-ordered sandwiches at The Moose. The Mo! inspired a menu of bold flavors and satisfying options that range from custom-tossed salads and mouthwatering grilled or cool sandwiches, to savory soups, wraps, and a full breakfast offered and served all day.
“The Smiling Moose is considered a fast-casual restaurant,” said McLean. “We slice all of our veggies and meat in-house. We make all of our spreads in-house. Our bread is preservative-free. And typically, our quality is higher. We make everything to order and the combos are really fulfilling a nitch in Williston and hopefully, in Watford City too.”
McLean says The Smiling Moose will also host a full coffee bar as well, and she’s excited to offer that coffee option for people in the mornings. The Smiling Moose will serve premium Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea. And they will offer breakfast all day every day.
“We also offer a catering service as well,” stated McLean. “We’ll even cater outside of our business hours, and we do offer delivery for our catering service. For example, we just catered a group of 700 people at 8 a.m. the other morning. So, we’re excited to bring that option to Watford City as well.”
McLean and her partner chose Watford City because the city has always been on their growth plan from the beginning.
“With the extreme growth in Watford City, to have the opportunity to offer another dining option is great,” said McLean. “And the timing just really came together. It’s a little luxury in life to be able to offer other dining options and bring a little variety to Watford City.”
Since 2003, The Smiling Moose has roamed beyond its borders to bring its hearty, adventurous menu and friendly, mountain-town experience to now 19 locations across seven states including Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. By 2020, Smiling Moose plans to have more than 100 delis throughout the United States.
The Smiling Moose Deli in Watford City will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.