Great Moments in Melt (Future) History – “The Original Lakewood Melt Gets a Makeover”
The Original Lakewood location of Melt Bar and Grilled is getting a long-overdue makeover! Twelve years after opening its doors to grilled-cheese loving diners, the flagship location is getting some much deserved TLC.
“The original location was opened on a very small budget,” says Matt Fish, owner and founder of Melt Bar and Grilled. “And we only did what was necessary to create the look we wanted and get the doors open. Once we started to expand, the focus turned to the new locations and the Lakewood location just carried on. The time is right to bring the original Melt location up to date.”
All thirteen Melt locations reflect the design and feel of the Lakewood location. “I worked with what I had,” says Fish. “The location had great bones but was in pretty bad shape. We started peeling layers back from years and years of business to reveal very nice finishes and elements. The walls were covered with the original plaster and lath and we ripped them all down. Fortunately, the brick was in very good shape and has become a major design element in all Melt locations.”
The main reason for the remodel is to upgrade the kitchen, but while construction is happening, other improvements are planned as well. “We are completely gutting and re-building the kitchen with a new floor, walls and ceiling and expanding it slightly so it is more efficient and easier to work in. Plus, two new first-floor bathrooms, a new host stand area, a new server station area, new exterior back entrance area, new Melt signage on the back of the building, and many cosmetic updates to the interior of the bar and dining room areas. The goal is to modernize the location but definitely keep the original look and feel. Some of the decorations have been hanging on the walls since 2006!”
This isn’t the first update to the Lakewood Melt, but is certainly the largest. “The Lakewood locations was open about 6 months before the patio became a project,” according to Fish. “We began planning it in early 2007 and opened it that June. The second expansion happened in 2008 when we took control of the space next door and opened the second room with the new entrances in May.”
“Believe it or not, I am not proud of the Lakewood location because it needs a ton of TLC. Century-old buildings have great charm but also great problems. The location is on 3 floors. The main dining room, bar and kitchen on the ground level; coolers, storage and some prep work is in the basement; and management offices and staff areas are on the 2nd floor. This is the biggest challenge of the Lakewood location so we will be making major adjustments to this. This location is incredibly special to me and countless others. It is our home and I hope we operate in that building for the next 50 years or more!”
Fish added: “I am very excited for this renovation project because it is about 10 years overdue and very necessary. We could not have opened our original location in a better community! The support we receive from the city of Lakewood, its officials and residents are incredible and this renovation project is dedicated to them.”
The Lakewood Melt location will be closed for 33 days, beginning Sunday, April 1st. The new and improved Melt flagship Grand Re-Opening celebration is planned for Friday, May 4th at 11am. See you then!