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Moja brings southern cookings near campus

A new local business accepting Quick Cash has popped up, allowing students yet another salvation from dining halls. Less than a mile from campus, the tradition of homestyle comfort food lives on thanks to local business, Moja Southern Kitchen. 

Operated by a true southerner, owner Pat Robinson said his hope in opening the business is to establish a unique presence in the Peoria community. 

“If you look at what’s in the [Peoria] market, we felt there was an absence of access to southern-kitchen-type food,” Robinson said. “You tend to see a lot of wing, rib, Thai and Mexican places, but the closest thing around here to [a] southern kitchen is Cracker Barrel.” 

Robinson described the business as full-service, meaning the menu offers a variety of “beyond traditional” foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

“We sell anything from hot dogs to hamburgers, smothered chicken to ribs and catfish. We sell southern and cajun-type dishes like pastas, shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, things of that nature,” Robinson said. 

He promised that when you step into Moja Southern Kitchen, you will experience a unique environment. 

“We’re not fast food. We’re all about creating our climate. [Moja is] a place where you can come, sit, relax, have a wholesome meal like you might at home,” Robinson said. 

The business also accepts Quick Cash, and does so because Robinson believes they offer something familiar to Bradley students. 

“I know [students] are away from parents, away from home and that good, good cookin’ you’d expect to have at the dinner table,” Robinson said. “We’d like to think we create a safe, inviting environment. They can come here and have a very healthy, wholesome meal.” 

While he believes this is the main appeal to students, Robinson said Moja has much more to offer. 

“Something not a lot of people know yet – we also have an ice cream shop here. We do soft serve ice cream,” Robinson said. 

Though the business has only been open nine months, the team believes it will have a large impact on both the Peoria and Bradley community. 

“We have the highest confidence in the type of product we bring,” Robinson said. 

Moja is located at 301 N Macarthur Hwy, and is open on Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. A complete menu is available through their website. 

This story is part of the Scout 2018 summer special issue. Read the full summer issue

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