‘Like a grilled cheese, just on steroids’: Melt’d offers late-night cheesy meals


Amaya Lobato | Staff Photographer

Melt’d on Forbes Avenue.

By Spencer Levering, Staff Writer

A new restaurant has opened on Pitt’s campus, and some students are craving its creative take on a childhood staple.

Melt’d, a cheese-based restaurant, opened on March 22 at 3903 Forbes Ave. The location combines traditional sandwiches with American, cheddar and provolone cheeses to offer 13 different grilled cheese sandwiches and bowls.

Sandwich prices range from $7 to $11 while bowls range from $8 to $14. Appetizers include cheese fries, mozzarella sticks and mac and cheese bites, and for dessert, Melt’d sells a cheesecake brownie. Appetizers range from $8 to $9 and the cheesecake brownie costs $3.

“If you get a sandwich, you’re probably going to have leftovers,” said Austin McGrew, a sophomore business information systems major and cook at Melt’d.

The restaurant replaced Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, which went out of business in January after being open for about 14 months. After Pittsburgh’s legendary hot dog shop “The O” closed in 2020, MERO Restaurant Group leased the building, using most of the space for its Viva Los Tacos location and previously subletting the rest to Capriotti’s. MERO also owns CHiKN and Stack’d. 

After Capriotti’s went out of business, MERO filled the space with Melt’d, giving students a new late-night food option. Even though the restaurant is only a few weeks old, Melt’d general manager Patrick Cunningham is pleased with its success. 

“It’s kind of too soon to tell, but the general feedback has been very good,” Cunningham said.

Starting this week, Cunningham said Melt’d will operate with its full hours — 11 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. He also said Melt’d will have special deals this week to attract new customers, including half price sandwiches on Wednesday and half price bowls on Thursday.

Cunningham said he has more than 15 years of experience working in the food service industry, which helped him open Melt’d. Most recently, he said he worked at Stack’d in Wexford. He complimented the employees, saying they have been “really, very good.” 

“If anybody needs a job, if anybody needs some food, we’re here, we’re open, we’re taking all comers,” Cunningham said.

Lauren Burke, a junior marketing major, said she hopes Melt’d lasts longer than Capriotti’s. She tried the Philly cheesesteak during her visit to Melt’d. Served as a grilled cheese stuffed with shaved ribeye, grilled onions and peppers and chipotle ranch, Burke called the sandwich’s taste “phenomenal” and said the restaurant’s decision to offer Coca-Cola brand sodas over Pepsi brand sodas is “thrilling.”

Apart from the food, Burke also appreciated the restaurant’s staff.

“They greeted me when I came in, and then when I left, they were like, ‘Come back soon.’ So the people were very nice employees,” Burke said.

McGrew, who has worked at Melt’d since it opened last month, said it’s probably one of the best food service jobs he’s had. He said the mac and cheese grilled cheese is “a cool concept that I’ve always wanted to try on my own.” Cunningham said the mac and cheese grilled cheese is “like a grilled cheese, just on steroids.”

After hearing about the restaurant from a friend, Andrew Mueller, a first-year mechanical engineering major, tried their Philly cheesesteak. He also complemented the restaurant’s atmosphere, including the music. 

“For as messy as it was, it tasted really good,” Mueller said. “It’s a good Friday night meal.”

MERO now owns four dining locations on Pitt’s campus, a move McGrew called “very smart.”

“As a business major studying the process, it’s a very successful monopoly to have one company open four different restaurants with four different unique styles,” McGrew said.