Almost since the beginning, Melt Bar & Grilled has been accumulating sandwiches like a music fan collects used vinyl. It was always front man Matt Fish's goal to assemble a collection of 36 unique sandwiches — and that's precisely how many currently are on the menu.
At least until September 3, when Melt rolls out its first major menu overhaul in seven years.
"We've decided to take the plunge and move to a smaller, more specialized seasonal menu, and committing to changing our menu every three months," explains Fish.
Instead of a 36-sandwich menu that barely budges, the new menu lists just 20, with sandwiches selected for their season-appropriate flavor profiles. Popular specials like the New Bomb Turkey, which had been available just one month a year, will be added to the regular seasonal menu and be available for three months.
In addition to making the selection process easier for guests, the change will make reading the menu easier as well. If you've dined at Melt, you know that the menu is affixed to the back of a rock 'n' roll LP. More items meant smaller print.
"The menu has gotten bigger and bigger but the 12-by-12 record album has stayed exactly the same size," says Fish. "The menu is now easier to read with a larger print size."
Other changes include new starters and salads and the removal of signature burgers. Don't worry; burgers are still available, but now they are billed as "Choose Your Own Fate," with diners picking beef or veggie, regular or rubbed, preferred temp, choice of cheese and other toppings.
In other Melt news, Fish has revealed for the first time the opening date of the Columbus store, which will take place November 1. The restaurant, located in the heart of the Short North, will hold a hiring fair in that city September 23-24 for all positions but management.
"I think we're going to fit in really well down there," says Fish. "There's nobody doing what we're doing, and our price points, flavors and portions are all a good fit. Our brand is really strong, even in Columbus."
When Columbus opens, Melt will have five restaurants and employee approximately 360 people.