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Melt Bar & Grilled Opens Friday in the Short North

Ayana Wilson Ayana Wilson Melt Bar & Grilled Opens Friday in the Short North
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Who doesn’t love cheese? Affection for this treat runs deep, especially in Central Ohio, where our love for the dairy staple has caused us to integrate it into just about anything we can. It’s the hidden treat in the middle of a burger, the secret ingredient for awesome cookies, and it even makes ice-cream better.

But the most popular incarnation of cheese is still the grilled sandwich. Of all the purveyors of the decadent dish, Melt Bar & Grilled (which hails from Cleveland) stands out among the rest. Melt is the brainchild of Matt Fish, a chef for 18 years, who came up with the idea to expand on his love of grilled cheese sandwiches after culinary school as he toured the country (he’s also a musician).

Four years later, the fist Melt location opened in 2006. Since then four more have sprung up in and around the Greater Cleveland area. The Short North store, located at 840 North High Street as part of The Hub development project, will be the fifth, and Fish promises to bring the same kitsch and energy found at the others.

“We are bringing a very unique experience to Columbus,” states Fish on the opening. “It will be different from everything happening in Columbus currently. We are extremely excited to be joining the already amazing and diverse culinary scene.”

Fish’s contribution to the food scene will start and end with extravagant grilled cheese sandwiches. Melt’s opening coincides with the rollout of their new winter menu. That includes The War Pig, topped with three different preparations of pork, house-made mole, chicharrones, and pepper jack cheese, as well as the sandwich of the month for November: the Chicken & Waffles Melt, a fresh-made Belgian waffle encasing battered chicken, sriracha butter, pepper jack and a jalapeno-berry syrup for dipping.

Melt will also feature two desserts when it debuts: Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding and Apple Pie’wich à la mode, which is a homemade pie with bacon and sharp cheddar that is battered, deep-fried and then dusted in cinnamon sugar, and drizzled in caramel sauce.

Fish and his team’s goal has always been to provide comfort food in a friendly and accessible environment, and in the Short North they’ll be able to do just that.

“I was approached by the developers over a year ago about coming to Columbus to specifically open in this development,” adds Fish. “I was drawn to Columbus because it’s the next logical step for Melt. I signed the lease based on drawings and the awesome neighborhood.”

The new restaurant is 5,400 square feet, and will seat 140, with capacity for 270. Libation is also a large part of what Melt does, and they carry a selection of craft beers on 40 taps and another 40 in bottles. They also have a signature cocktail menu, where the Snow Cap Martini (a blend of vanilla vodka, Bailey’s, and whole milk served in a chocolate-swirled glass) is the drink of the month.

Upon launch, Melt Bar & Grilled will serve lunch and dinner Sunday to Thursday, from 11am to 11pm (bar closes at midnight), and on Friday and Saturday, from 11am to midnight (the bar closes an hour later). As Fish figures out the market, hours may be extended.

Melt Columbus is set to open Friday, November 15th. For a look at their full menu, and details about the opening, check out www.meltbarandgrilled.com.

Photos by Walker Evans.

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