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Mo’s Pit Barbeque and Ballroom

Barbeque is a popular cuisine – but from New Orleans to Texas, Kansas City to the Carolinas, you’ll find fans arguing over what’s “best.” When Mo’s Pit Barbeque and Ballroom owner Kevin Morrissey started smoking meat for his barbeque, he did what we who love barbeque consider the only thing to do: figure out what your style is, and then make it the very best it can be.

For Morrissey, who started his barbeque catering business several years back with a van and a smoker, it all begins with the meat. Wood-smoked meat (fruit woods, like cherry and apple are the best) is the basis for barbeque that will keep you coming back for more. “The meat stands on its own,” Morrissey states, with conviction. 

Morrissey traveled around, catering events, serving and perfecting his barbeque, for several years, until he eventually found a diner location in Cayuga where he based his operations in the summer, and the Finger Lakes Mall which became a winter retreat. But he kept watching for a place to call “home.” Eventually, he found a spot that has a history of its own – while Mo’s Pit Ballroom and Barbeque writes a new chapter.

The building was for many years the boarding house for German immigrants working at Camillus Cutlery, and while Morrissey makes no claims for the exterior of the venue, he’s justifiably proud of its expansive and unique interior. Mo’s Pit Barbeque and Ballroom opened in its present location in April, 2018.

“We have a long, long bar and large main dining room,” he says, “but our banquet room —5000 square feet with a dance floor— can accommodate up to 265 cocktail guests, and table seating for 200. So we can handle a large party.” Morrissey says the site has hosted weddings, retirements, graduation parties, high school sports banquets – just about any event that will bring a group together. And of course Mo’s is expert at taking the party to your event location, as catering remains a mainstay of the business. 

With local beers, and a full bar, and hours that accommodate the lunch crowd as well as evening diners, Mo’s is a comfortable environment for friends, families, small and large groups. But for Morrissey, it’s definitely about the food.

Asked about his menu (after all, sides are a big part of good barbeque!) Morrissey is quick to share with us that everything on the menu is home-made – and he can name the ingredients and why each dish is special and unique to Mo’s. “People ask for corn on the cob,” he explains, recognizing that corn is traditional with barbeque. “We serve it when it’s fresh. There’s nothing like fresh-picked corn from just up the road. We want it fresh and at its peak.”

Going back to his certainty that good barbeque is all about good, well-smoked meat, (with three types of sauce at each table), Morrissey has also introduced a wood-fired pizza from 4-8 on Wednesdays. “Wood-fired pizza just tastes best,” he explains. And the leftover dough, he tells us, will make a staple at his soon-to-be-introduced Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Happy Hours (with half-priced appetizers from 3-6pm at the bar). “We’ll take that pizza dough and roll it out, and bake it into a flatbread, and serve that along with a menu we’re working on now for our July 1 start.”

A quick glance at a very enticing menu will tell you that Mo’s offers more than barbeque, so no matter what your mood —from Burgers to Haddock to Redneck Surf ‘n Turf— something is going to match your appetite. With dishes like Poutine, Catfish Strips, Chicken Spiedies and Salt Potatoes, you’ll get an opportunity to tour the country through cuisine – with a little extra emphasis on southern goodness!

And just to complete the picture, in addition to on and off-site catering, banquet events, happy hour specials and great dining, Mo’s offers carry-out as well. That’s hospitality!  

Nancy Roberts
Writer, voice over artist, information achitect, very curious person.