MENOMONEE FALLS — Wisconsin cheeseheads, get ready for the first modern fast-casual mac and cheese restaurant in southeastern Wisconsin, Grate Mac & Cheese, slated to open in Whitestone Station at the end of this summer.
Milwaukee-based Roaring Fork Restaurant Group announced Tuesday, May 16, that construction would begin on the restaurant, N92 W16125 Falls Parkway, in June.
Cheese will be the forefront of every part of the restaurant, with fresh Wisconsin cheese being grated for every entree. Mac and cheese will be cooked in the large Woodstone oven where customers can watch.
The 2,500-square-foot restaurant will feature a dozen mac and cheese entrees for $7-$8, including options like "Chicken Bacon Jalapeno Ranch," "Green Chile Pepperjack" and "Buffalo Chicken," plus salad entrees and desserts will also be offered.
"Mac and cheese is so nostalgic; it's connectable," said Abby Hansen, director of marketing at Roaring Fork. "You can mention mac and cheese to a 2-year-old and to a 92-year-old, and everybody understands what mac and cheese is. Being from Wisconsin, it makes complete sense and it’s something that everyone can relate to. People typically have a memory of a mac and cheese dish that they’ve had, whether mom made it or grandma made it, you say mac and cheese, and people have a story.”
Whitestone Station was selected as the restaurant's location because of its accessibility to the highway. The restaurant group has operated a successful Qdoba location in the community since 2008; it operates 54 regional Qdoba locations.
"It's close to 80,000 cars going by it every day (on the highway), so for people who are driving downtown or back home from work, we wanted to have that visibility for people to grab mac and cheese to take home to their family because we will have that carry out option," Hanse said. "We really like the density of that area. Menomonee Falls has always been a great community for us. When we were thinking of where we wanted to go, it was definitely one of the top players for us because we’ve had such success in that market.”
Grate Mac & Cheese will employ approximately 25 people and will begin hiring in early August.
For more information on Grate Mac & Cheese, visit them online, http://www.gratemac.com.