Photo by Eric Best

O’Cheeze opens skyway restaurant

Updated: February 8, 2018 - 2:19 pm

The grilled cheese food truck is the latest mobile eatery to make the leap to brick and mortar

O’Cheeze may have opened a new skyway restaurant, but its neighbors haven’t changed much.

Co-owners Haley and Tony Fritz have taken the grilled cheese food truck to a corner of the skyway with Green + The Grain and Vellee Deli, two fellow brick-and-mortar businesses that started as food trucks and made the leap to the second story. When office workers find a place to have lunch, Tony said, they’ll think of this food truck corner.

“We want people who take as food as seriously as we do around us,” he said. “You learn very quickly operating food trucks that the other trucks that you surround yourself with boost business.”

The approximately 1,600-square-foot location in the Baker Center Roanoke Building is an expanded version of the concept, offering more than nine sandwiches instead of five and three soups instead of a single option.

O’Cheeze offers skyway office workers breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. Tony said they are looking to partner with Five Watt Coffee of Minneapolis to supply their morning brew.

Instead of entering the skyway and leaving the trucks — dubbed Old Bleu and Little Colby — behind, Tony said they expanded in order to support the trucks. The restaurant’s 24-hour kitchen is equipped with a cook and hold oven for braising meats around the clock, which is necessary to produce the pulled chicken and pork in their sandwiches.

Photo courtesy O'Cheeze
Photo courtesy O’Cheeze

The expansion was delayed after the two launched another business, a cookie dough food truck called Dough Dough. The concept, which can be found in downtown Minneapolis, has already spawned a brick-and-mortar location at the Mall of the America.

Their next plan is to open a spinoff of O’Cheeze at Keg & Case Market, a food hall that is slated to open later this year in the former keg house at St. Paul’s historic Schmidt Brewery complex. Tony said the bar will take a deeper dive into cheese with new cheese and beer pairings.

After opening several businesses in the past year, Tony said they’re not pining to open more O’Cheeze or Dough Dough locations in the very near future. Instead, the two said they grow them as opportunities present themselves organically.

“We kind of need a slowdown for just a little bit,” he said.

O’Cheeze, at 705 Marquette Ave., is open 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Monday through Friday.