The Journey of a Lifetime
It’s a long way from Pakistan to Apache Junction.
But for Mo, it was simply where he was supposed to be.
“What we created is pure luck, with the community to make it successful,” he said.
“Be humble, be nice, and do the best that you can, a small obstacle comes in, you just fight for it,” he said. “
“That’s what I love about the Apache Junction community,” he said. “If any problem comes up, if anybody finds out, they come running, ‘what can we do to help you?’ That’s why I fell in love with this community.”
He worked in the import/export business before ending up with the restaurant.
Its All About Community
Mo said many years ago he drove out to an area in the Superstition Mountains to help a friend and “fell in love” with Apache Junction. He staked his claim a few years later, buying the Hitching Post.
Mo says he began giving back after the death of a former patron led to a fund-raiser to help pay for funeral expenses. It’s been hard for Mo to say no since that.
“That’s the kind of things you do for the community,” Mo said. “That’s how you get involved. You help them out and they become your loyal friends, your family. Right now, Apache Junction is a part of our family.”
“You can get success anywhere. But Apache Junction is the best place I have ever found. I’ve worked in Germany, worked in Switzerland, I’ve worked for IBM, I’ve worked in import/export company. You can’t find genuine people like the people in Apache Junction anywhere.”
Mo has run the Hitching Post restaurant and now the adjoining steak house for years and wouldn’t want to serve his food and drinks anywhere else.
“We’re in the middle of nowhere, and we created a theme of the Old Western saloon,” he says. “Nobody else has that décor, that look and that design. We provide great food. We have a great team.”
The Hitching Post boasts a loyal following of year-round residents and winter visitors who make it a must-stop during their stay to get away from brutal Northern cold and snow. The reputation has spread far and wide, says Mo.
Starting Small and Growing
Having turned an old convenience store on the way to the lakes into a bustling entertainment and culinary center, Mo has paved quite the journey on State Route 88.
It started out simply enough – a pizza place with a bar and the “Dash Inn” – which was just a converted general store. But Mo added music, some special menu items – snake pizza? – and the following began to grow. He has had some special concerts, fund-raising events for local charities or residents who have had tragedies befall them.
And a couple of years ago, he added bull-riding a couple of nights a week in a small arena just outside the restaurant – perfect for the Old West.
He wants to add more to the location and expand his clientele.
“I want to create activity so the kids can come out and hang with their families, the grandpa with their grandson, and everybody can come out and enjoy the afternoon, enjoy the evening.”
Being at the foot of the majestic Superstition Mountains makes for a dramatic backdrop and with a location that is well traveled – the main road to Canyon Lake, Tortilla Flat and beyond – the Hitching Post has carved out a unique place in the culinary community of Apache Junction. But the community has responded in kind to his efforts to give back.
“People coming from Canada, people coming from Australia, from Holland, everywhere in the world,” Mo said. “They see the horses tied outside, that’s the attraction. They like to talk to the cowboys and experience the Old West.
That’s some 8,000 miles from Pakistan.
“I’m not here to become a millionaire. I found a family. I want to do something more for them.”
“You have to put your heart and soul in it. If you want to be a success, you have to get involved in it. Don’t look for the money. They come and go. You don’t forget the people. Get to know them. Be there for them when they need you.”