Case Study: Melt Bar & Grilled

February 26, 2014


“Tin ceilings were always my first choice and I never considered any other materials. Why settle for second best?”
–Matt Fish, Owner of Melt Bar & Grilled

As American as baseball or apple pie, grilled cheese is a comfort food that can take you back to your childhood. Melt Bar and Grilled is no ordinary sandwich shop, though. With rotating specials that include everything from Sriracha butter to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, this cult phenomenon (seriously, their fans get tattoos) uses American Tin Ceilings as a major identifying element of their brand. With locations across Ohio, the spaces are all designed uniquely, but the hard wood floors, exposed brick, painted walls, and iconic tin ceiling are a staple that delivers a consistent and memorable experience.

We caught up with Owner/Founder Matt Fish to talk about what tin means to their brand.

Which locations have which patterns/colors?
There are currently 5 Melt Bar and Grilled locations in Ohio. 3 are redesigns and 2 are new construction projects. All 5 locations have two alternating patterns from American Tin Ceilings, #22 & #26. The color we use is actually a discontinued powder-coated Blue. The original tin ceiling at the first Melt location in Lakewood, Ohio is from 1910, which is very similar to the patterns you offer. It was painted a brilliant dark blue color years before I bought the building. When I expanded next door, there was no tin so we went on a search to match the original look and feel. Now we purchase unfinished tiles and a local company in Ohio paints them for us.

Why did you choose tin?
I have always loved the look and nostalgia feel of a tin ceiling. Cleveland is a great city with many century buildings with amazing tin ceilings. I luckily inherited a great original one at my first location and wanted to continue the tradition. The tin ceilings have always been and continue to be the focal point of each restaurant I open.

How did you find out about the American Tin Ceiling Company?
I discovered American Tin Ceiling Company in 2008 while researching materials for my first expansion. I needed to find a high quality authentic tin ceiling manufacturer.

Which installation type did you purchase (Snaplock, Nailup, etc.)? Was it as easy as they explained?
The first one I purchased was the Nail-up type. It was relatively easy once the installation began. Since then, every installation has been a Drop- in. We install a black ceiling grid and then lay in the 24x24 panels. Very easy!

Are you happy with the purchase/would you use it again?
I am extremely happy with the quality from American Tin Ceilings. I have used the products for 5 locations and I don’t see any reason to change. The two patterns from American Tin have become part of our brand. Our guests identify the design and color with Melt Bar and Grilled.

What has the feedback been like?
The feedback continues to be great. The tin ceiling at Melt is always a conversation piece. The color and texture is very eye catching and makes a statement.

Any future projects in the works for tin?
We have expansions plans for Cleveland and Columbus and will continue to use American Tin ceiling panels moving forward.

Anything else you’d like to share or want us to know?
The tin ceiling and particularly the unique color has become part of our brand. It is immediately recognizable as Melt Bar and Grilled’s aesthetic. All the spaces are designed slightly different to create uniqueness between locations, but there are certain elements that always remain the same. The hard wood floors, exposed brick, painted walls, and the beautiful tin ceiling all create a consistent dining experience.

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