Just less than four months after opening, a tiny take-out joint, delivery-only walk-up counter, Midnight Mac and Cheeserie has become so popular in the Rogers Park area that it is actually costing the owner business. Say what?!
Antony van Zyl is the Cheeserie’s owner and his original plan was far from his current reality. Zyl’s plan was to use his dining room as an international cafe called, Nibbles and Nosh. And during the late afternoon/evening? He would duel out delicious orders of mac and cheese. So what happened to that master plan?
The Mac and Cheese joint took off so well when it debuted in May, that it has overtaken the breakfast business. “The Mac and Cheeserie came out of left field and just exploded,” Zyl said. “It is still growing and we are basically running flat out to keep up with it.”
The restaurant sold out of everything within just a few hours with a line that wrapped down the block. After that, Zyl shut down to hire more help and opened the dining room at night to accommodate hungry paying customers. But yet, that wasn’t enough to satisfy the Roger’s Park up and coming mac joint…
“I had envisioned the Mac and Cheeserie as a takeout and delivery space only,” Zyl said. “It is the locals who pushed for dining in options and are driving our expansion… we have seen a large response from families with children.”
With such an overwhelming response for the cheeserie, Nibbles and Nosh served its last meal this week but in the spirit of breakfast, the cheeserie will serve coffee, tea, and other morning drinks. Zyl says it’s a bittersweet moment.
“When I first rented the space it was with every intent to put in a breakfast lunch coffee shop, one where we could go all out on weekends with brunch and build a nice comfy place for people to have a bite and a cup of really good coffee during the week,” Zyl said. “Everything we did was focused on Nibbles and Nosh being the primary.”
Starting Monday, Midnight Mac and Cheeserie will take over both storefronts and expand its hours into lunchtime beginning at 11 a.m. with new specials being developed. It will still close at 2 a.m. and is BYOB.
It’s a transition for everyone but a transition most are ecstatic for. Starting Monday, Midnight Mac and Cheeserie will take over both store fronts as well as expand its hours with news specials. They will also be offering a food challenge: consume a 5-pound tray of mac and cheese under an hour. One thing is certain, people love their cheese and can’t get enough of it!