your way in the world today takes everything you got, taking
a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Sometimes
you wanna go, where everybody knows your name...”
No, it’s not Cheers; it’s The Stagecoach Grill
on the south end of Highway 191. How does a restaurant that’s
only a year old foster such loyalty from its patrons and such
a sense of community? Perhaps it stems from its very creation,
as the entire enterprise seems to have been built from the
bottom up by family and friends. Perhaps it stems from the
goals of the owners, Jim and Cheryl Nyland, who wanted to create
a place where families would be at ease and enjoy themselves.
Perhaps it stems from the menu that offers down-home food at
good prices, and which just happens to read like a “who’s
who” of Moab!
Nation Nachos will remind even tourists who don’t know
Jesse of Nations Towing. And Mike’s Munchie Plate, a
loosen-your-belt combination of cheese sticks, stuffed Jalapenos,
onion rings, fried mushrooms, steak fingers, chicken strips,
and fries, was named after Moab’s own chief of police,
Get the impression The Stagecoach Grill wants to fill you up?
Well, they certainly aren’t shy about portion sizes.
And tourists and locals alike seem to be lining up for it.
The prime rib specials on Friday and Saturday nights always
sell out. Truck radios tell of the good cooking, friendly service,
and a truck-friendly pull around parking lot. Having stopped
by during Elk season, hunters have then returned with their
families. With so many patrons becoming regulars, it’s
more about the generous spirit than the generous portion sizes.
Manager Gayle Stevenson aims to offer it all: price, quality
GayleStevenson and CherylNyland
Gayle recalls being told by a supplier when they first opened
that they would have to choose from those three, that no
restaurant could offer all of them and succeed. “We’ve
chosen to prove them wrong,” says Gayle confidently. “We
want people to come in and have a good time. We’ll
take care of you with food that is fast, hot and good.”
When was the last time you were greeted not only by a restaurant
hostess but by other tables of patrons? I witnessed easy
conversation between tables and a general sense of good will.
As Cheryl eloquently pointed out, things keep changing in
Moab and The Stagecoach Grill aims to meet the new needs
of the town while also providing a link to its history. Cheryl
should know; her family first came to Moab in 1884. Cheryl
and Jim’s sense of continuity and value of family touch
all aspects of the business. A portrait of Cheryl’s
father on horseback decorates one wall. One of Jim’s
mother’s recipes is immortalized in the delicious “Lenore’s
Scone with caramel butter.” Their son-in-law, Rick
Burgess, is the cook and landscaper—check out his beautiful
creations out front as well as in the kitchen.
Even the Bandit Burger, a lunch time favorite served with
cheese and jalapenos and weighing no less than a half pound,
is part of Moab history. It stems from the old Taco Bender,
which Moab has sorely missed for the past 13 years or so.
Former owners Michael and Anne Arehart generously shared
numerous recipes with Cheryl, who worked there for years,
including the burritos and taquitos. There is an acknowledgement
to Mike with the “Mikos Nachos,” a blend of nacho
chips, cheese, sauce, meat & goodies. If you want to
feel like a real insider, ask if Cheryl is in the kitchen
and then order the enchiladas. They aren’t on the menu,
but if she’s there, and she usually is, then this specialty
The Stagecoach Grill will celebrated its third anniversary
on Labor Day. The entire enterprise has been a labor of love
for Jim and Cheryl Nyland, who built the restaurant on the
same site as their former feed store. They actually kept
the store going as the restaurant was being built, a feat
of multi-tasking. It’s hard to get Cheryl to really
talk about their accomplishments. She’s too busy sharing
how generous all their friends and families were with their
time and energy. She’d rather brag about what a great
middle school teacher Mike Arehart is, and what a wonderful
friend his wife Anne has been, than brag about her own homemade
pies, which, believe me, are worth bragging about. I’m
still hoping that she’ll offer a pastry class for those
of us dependent on Pillsbury crusts!
Several things make the Stagecoach Grill special. It is open
year round for lunch and dinner, every day but Sunday. It
can be reserved for large groups, and books several Christmas
parties every year. Don’t forget the homemade soups,
daily specials, and a kids menu. The different stagecoach
models that were gifts from customers. A big-screen TV, as
well as several TVs throughout so that there isn’t
a bad seat in the house on the night of a big game. A beautiful,
built-in bar that offers several kinds of beer. And then
there’s that pie again.
Come and check it out. Even if they don’t know your
name yet, they’ll soon remedy that!
The Stagecoach Grill
2728 South Highway 191
Moab, Utah 84532
Monday-Thursday: 11 am - 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 10:00pm
Take out available, as well as party reservations.