Moussa revamped the image of Mugs and Jugs, steering clear of the name’s obvious innuendo. He provided his waitresses with an option, allowing the alternative of pants rather than the usual short-shorts and revealing top. He has since done away with the shorts altogether, providing a more comfortable and modest workplace for his staff.
Today, the only similarity to the location he bought 11 years ago and sold on 66th Street in Clearwater is the name, “Mugs and Jugs”, a name that Moussa has been unhappy with for eight years.
Due to his investment and his dedication to the image of his restaurant, Moussa began to feel the name of the establishment was no longer relevant to the sort of business it had actually become, creating some confusion over exactly what sort of establishment it was. So he hired a local artist to redesign the logo and made plans to change the name to “Mugs”. The timing, however, was not right.
Five years ago, Moussa purchased the second Mugs and Jugs location on Missouri Avenue in Clearwater. When Moussa sold the 66th Street location in May 2008, he saw the opportunity to do something he had wanted to do for years, change the name. The location he sold will continue to bear the name “Mugs and Jugs”, despite no longer being owned by Moussa, while the current location on Missouri has become “Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar.”
“Although Hooters has done a wonderful job, we did not want to be a knock off of Hooters,” Moussa explains. The clientele of Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar is not limited to men. The customers include men and women, young and old, from all walks of life. “We are your every day eats for everybody,” says Moussa. Perhaps the success of Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar can be attributed to Moussa’s constant dedication to his business, and innovation. For instance, Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar was voted Best Wings In Tampa Bay by Tampa Bay Magazine. “No one will ever come close to it,” Moussa says of his wings recipe. They are made from scratch every day and they’re never
Their flavorful sauces are made in house. “I will never cut corners about my food,” he explains. During a surprise health inspection, his restaurant was awarded with an A.
Despite the change of name, this commitment to quality and service will continue. Moussa takes pride in his establishment, and is regularly on the restaurant floor; in fact he is on a first name basis with many of his customers. “I actually am glad to see people’s faces,” he says.
Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar will be giving away Tampa Bay Bucs tickets throughout the season. As part of the grand opening events, he raffled off a new grill, complete with steaks and a bottle of wine. Patricia Keicher, a Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar regular, was the excited winner.
Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar is located on Missouri Avenue in Clearwater. Mugs and Jugs on 66th Street is no longer owned by Moussa. To find out more about Abe’s Mugs Grill & Bar, visit their website at www.mugsonmissouri.com.