Melt Bar and Grilled was born from Cleveland musician and chef Matt Fish’s love of two things: great craft beer and the humble grilled cheese sandwich. Matt envisioned the potential for “comfort food, all dressed up.” This was his impetus for creating a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant and bar, bringing classic American dishes to the table in an unpretentious, unique, and fun way. With a skeleton crew of 12 other people who shared his vision, Matt opened Melt Bar and Grilled in Lakewood, Ohio in 2006. Not knowing what to expect, that first crew watched Melt quickly transform from a tiny punk rock beer bar to the biggest culinary buzz to hit greater Cleveland in decades. It was evident that the city craved grilled cheese, and Melt satisfied that hunger.
Cleveland's best-kept secret was soon thrust into the national spotlight when Melt caught the attention of the television series "Man vs. Food" and "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Both filmed what would be among their most-watched episodes at the flourishing Lakewood stomping ground. And as the buzz grew, so did demand. Locals were lined up out the door, while out-of-towners made special plans to see what all the fuss was about. When the wait to get a table became a practice in patience, it was time for Melt to open a second location. In 2010, this Cleveland Heights location opened its doors. Melt expanded beyond just a restaurant; it was truly an experience for fans and a way of life for those behind the scenes. Great care was taken to bring the unique punk rock/beer bar vibe of the original Melt to this location. With pop artist John G’s humorous posters to muralist Jake Kelly’s unique art adorning its walls, kitschy Cleveland memorabilia, warm and inviting lighting, and even the jolly, illuminated plastic holiday characters throughout the bar, this Cleveland Heights Melt was an instant success.
With a menu featuring unique monthly specials, there are always new items to try and a wide-ranging, revolving selection of beers. The Melt menu ranges from the classic grilled cheese sandwich dubbed the Kindergarten to the more flavorful Monte Cristo (complete with berry preserves for dipping). The complexity comes in the Mighty Macaroni and the immensely popular Parmageddon, which adds pierogi and fresh Napa vodka kraut to the basic grilled cheese sandwich.
There are a dozen kinds of cheeses to choose from, plus vegan cheddar and vegan mozzarella options. All the sandwiches are made with gluten-free, vegan bread.
Information and photos courtesy of meltbarandgrilled.com