Local business owner Mo Jeloudarzadeh pursues American dream, finds success in Katy

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NOTE: This story is the full version of the story that was included in the July 2018 edition of Community Impact Newspaper’s Katy edition. The print version was edited to fit the space allotted. 

CLARIFICATION:
Mo’s Place has featured music acts such as Blake Shelton and Larry Gatlin.

Mo Jeloudarzadeh said he opened Mo’s Place in 1988 with six bar stools and two picnic tables. In the 30 years since, the bar has grown into one of the most popular music venues in Katy featuring country music acts such as Blake Shelton and Larry Gatlin.

The venue holds live music performances every weekend and boasts two stages, two dance floors, three bars, pool tables, arcade games and TVs throughout the space for popular sporting events, Jeloudarzadeh, called Mo by his regulars, said. The bar also offers pub grub like burgers and wings for patrons to enjoy while watching a live show.

“You don’t have to come here and have a drink,” he said. “Bring a bottle of water, shoot pool with friends and enjoy yourself.”

Jeloudarzadeh said he opened Mo’s place after emigrating to the United States in the early 1980s. As a child in Iran, he had told his parents he would move to America when he was older.

“I was 9 years old at the dinner table and I told my parents one day I would like to go to America,” Jeloudarzadeh said.

Jeloudarzadeh said he began studying English immediately after that conversation in preparation for moving to the U.S. His parents encouraged him to pursue an engineering degree. However, while working in country bars throughout college, he fell in love with country music and the culture and told his parents he was going to open up a country music venue of his own.

Once the bar opened, Jeloudarzadeh worked seven days a week and began hosting live music performances. He was told by the Harris County Fire Marshall he would need to expand into a neighboring space to accommodate the crowds the bar was drawing. Since then, the nightclub has expanded again to include what is now the main stage.

The stages at Mo’s have helped many country stars build their careers, Jeloudarzadeh said. Blake Shelton, Little Big town, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan and Chris Young have all played at the bar, he said.

Mo’s Place has helped so many acts build their careers, Jeloudarzadeh was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, Texas last August. Jeloudarzadeh said being able to help others and make his business a success was a part of the American dream he wanted as a child.

“I know in my heart that I fought for it. It’s all about the food, the entertainment and good service,” Jeloudarzadeh said.

Jeloudarzadeh said he would not have been as successful without the overwhelming support of the Katy community for the last 30 years. He has tried to give back to the community and since 2015 has raised more than $300,00 for charity, including breast cancer research, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and victims of Hurricane Harvey. In June, Mo’s Place raised $110,000 for Champions Kids Camp, a nonprofit that helps children who have experienced severe trauma or loss.

Jeloudarzadeh hopes his children will continue to receive the same community support after he retires. He plans to leave the nightclub to his children, Mo Jeloudarzadeh Junior, Shireen Hovas and Joe Jeloudarzadeh.

Mo Jr. said he feels blessed by what his father has built over the last 30 years, and the 30-year anniversary celebration was one of his favorite memories at Mo’s Place. He said he had gotten a chance to see how much joy the bar brought to his father and how much the community loved him.

“[My father] had a heart attack in 2000, and I came back from college and I’ve been helping out here ever since,” Mo Jr. said. “It’s been something that I was kind of born to do and good at.”

Mo Jr. and Hovas said they anticipate the Mo’s Place brand will continue to grow with possible additional locations throughout the Greater Houston area. Jeloudarzadeh said he is proud of his children and grateful for the opportunity to work with them in the family business. They agree.

“It’s one of the biggest blessings that I’ve ever been given is to have the privilege to work with my family and live this kind of life,” Hovas said.

Mo’s Place

21940 Kingsland Blvd, Katy
281-392-3499
www.mosplacekaty.com
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

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R. Hans Miller
R. Hans Miller joined the Community Impact team in June 2017. He is a recent graduate of Texas State University's College of Journalism and Mass Communication, a U.S. Army veteran, husband and father. He is originally from Montana. He has written for VoiceBox Media and the San Marcos Daily Record, among others. He covers city government, emergency services, local business development and other topics for the Katy area.
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