After renovation delays, Melt Down Grilled Cheese to open next Tuesday
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Senior Thom Brosnan said he has passed the former location of the Post House Diner with unfulfilled promises of gourmet grilled cheese since the beginning of fall semester. Black banners announcing the arrival of Melt Down Grilled Cheese have shuttered the windows at 145 E. Main St. for months.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Brosnan. “Café Ole was bought, turned over, and opened in about half the time it took for Melt Down. I really don’t understand why it has taken so long.”
The restaurant was expected to open in the fall according to Downtown Newark Partnership Administrator Ricky Nietubicz, but the opening is now planned for March 5, owner Bob Vearling said.
There had been preliminary dates in the fall when the restaurant was expected to open, but construction delays halted the opening of the restaurant, Nietubicz said.
“The constructions included several renovations, permit acquisitions, code requirements and the installation of a sprinkler system to the water main, which caused construction to dig through sidewalk,” Nietubicz said.
On the Melt Down Grilled Cheese website, it is estimated that once a restaurant’s site has been approved with a signed lease, it will typically take about four months to construct and open the store. Vearling acquired the restaurant in July, following the closure of The Post House Diner in June and he said there was not a delay because he never set a concrete opening date.
He perceived the construction, which included knocking down walls and making design changes, as a beneficial delay that will help the restaurant.
“Melt Down received a total, 100 percent renovation,” said Vearling. “It will seat 48 to 50 people, there will be outside dining, and there will be a total redesign of the restaurant.”
Senior Alex Hunt said he believed the time of construction could be positive.
“No matter what type of word-of-mouth discussions people have about Melt Down, whether it was jokes about construction or excitement about grilled cheese, at least the word was getting out,” Hunt said.
Senior Eric Thornburg said he could not believe how long it has taken the restaurant to prepare.
“I like grilled cheese as much as the next guy and I think the restaurant will be successful, but it’s just a grilled cheese restaurant,” Thornburg said.
Once opened, the restaurant will offer sandwiches with chips and a pickle for $5 and up. The signature dish on the menu is a Grilled Ice Cream Sandwich, created with Haagen-Dazs ice cream and a grilled pound cake.
Vearling said the restaurant will be open Sunday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and will be the first Melt Down Grilled Cheese to be open that late.
Junior Matt Pierce said he is excited to be able to go to the restaurant later at night.
“Grilled cheese is the perfect food for a weekend night,” Pierce said. “When I heard it was going to be open until 2 a.m., I knew I would be heading there after some late night activities.