Grilled cheese lovers, take heed: The GrilledCheezGuy is gearing up to open his first brick-and-mortar location at 529 Stevenson St. (near Sixth Street) in SoMa.
According to owner Michael Davidson, the grab-and-go spot will most likely open its doors at some point in February. It'll be the first brick-and-mortar location for the business, which made its name with a food truck that debuted in 2009, as part of Oakland Art Murmur.
According to Davidson, the new location will serve breakfast and lunch, as well as a limited happy hour menu. Although it won't be pouring beer or liquor, Davidson told us he wants to provide a snack option for neighborhood bar hoppers. “I live in the East Bay,” explains Davidson. “Everyone from Alameda knows that Scolari's delivers to the bar Lucky 13.” Davidson hopes to form a similar symbiotic relationship with some of the nearby bars in SoMa.
The upcoming new location won't mean that the food truck will be retired: GrilledCheezGuy will still be actively involved in Off The Grid. “Off The Grid has been the closest thing to a home base for us,” explains Davidson, though he says he's looking forward to operating a more permanent location. “Opening my first place where people can regularly come visit will be really fun. Being a part of a corner in a major city is exciting.”
The SoMa shop's menu will offer some of the GrilledCheezGuy's classic sandwiches, as well as Davidson's current favorite, the "grilled cheese nachos," which will be featured on the happy hour menu.
He plans on offering a rotating monthly menu, and will be incorporating a GrilledCheezGuy "condiment club": with every sandwich you order, you'll have to opportunity to add on a variety of sauces. "I like to support small business," says Davidson. "I branched out to artisan, small batch condiments throughout the U.S." INNA Jam and Brown Dog Mustard are just a few of the condiments you can find in the "club."
The new location will also allow for delivery through UberEats and Caviar, and will have catering available as well.
The process of opening the new spot has been slow going, especially when it comes to making the small space ADA-compliant. But Davidson is looking forward to getting the shop up and running as soon as possible. "It’s a good time to put a foot in the door in San Francisco before it’s completely impossible,” he noted.
That's not all that's brewing for GrilledCheezGuy's growing business: Davidson was recently featured on a food show that will air shortly (the details are being kept under wraps), and he's proud his grandmother, who helped teach him how to cook, will be able to watch it.
“The fact she can sit on her couch in Florida and see what I’ve been doing from the comfort of her house—that's pretty cool."