Mosley’s is closing its second and final location, ending an eight-year run in the Iowa City area

Mosley’s Backyard Grill, 125 E Zeller St, North Liberty. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

Mosley’s, one of the best places to eat barbecue in eastern Iowa, is closing. If that sounds familiar, it’s because this is the second time “Mosley’s is closing” has made the news in two months.

Mosley’s original location on S Gilbert Street in Iowa City closed on Aug. 26.

“We’re moving our operation completely to our North Liberty store,” the restaurant posted on its Mosley’s Iowa City Facebook page at the time. “We can’t thank you enough for providing us with this opportunity.”

On Tuesday, a post on the North Liberty store’s Facebook announced, “All good things must come to an end, and in this case a great thing is coming to an end. Mosley’s has had a great 5-year run in North Liberty, and it’s time to move on to a new phase of our lives.”

Mosley's Barbeque & Provisions
Mosley’s Barbeque & Provisions in Iowa City, March 2016. — Frankie Schneckloth/Little Village

Owner and pitmaster Sean Keller told the Gazette he wants to spend more time with his family as his children are growing up.

Keller opened Mosley’s in Iowa City in August 2015 and added the second location in North Liberty three years later. Bread and Butter, Little Village’s annual guide to restaurants and all things food, included Mosley’s as one of its “Notable Restaurant Newbies” in 2016.

The meat is richly nuanced, with layers of smoke, and there is a sauce to please every palate. Mosley’s shines brightest with its sides: collard greens are not too greasy or salty, and the house-pickled vegetables are crisp and sharp with flavor. Cornbread, lightly glazed with honey, provides the perfect foil for the sticky, decadent meat. The cocktail list is creative and there’s a vast and interesting selection of beer. Meat and produce are locally sourced, so you can indulge — and you will want to indulge — with integrity.

That description remained true up until the Saturday at the end of August when the restaurant closed its doors for the last time.

Mosley’s on S Gilbert Street in Iowa City closed at the end of August, but the sign remains lit and “open” is still chalked on a blackboard. Oct. 19, 2023. — Paul Brennan/Little Village

Like the Iowa City location, the North Liberty Mosley’s is going out with a party.

“Come join our Mosley’s family for one last hurrah this Saturday from 11am until late night by enjoying the area’s best barbecue, cold beer, craft cocktails, and friendly smiles one last time,” Tuesday’s Facebook post said.