Photo: Courtesy Melt Bar and Grilled
In the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Ohio, customers of Melt Bar and Grilled love the restaurant's 31 varieties of grilled cheese enough to permanently mark their bodies with tattoos of the gooey comfort food.
In return Melt reward you with a 25 percent discount for life.
Since he kicked off the promotion on Sept. 1, more than 50 loyal customers have come in with tattoos of variations of the Melt grilled cheese logo, owner Matt Fish tells Slashfood.
"I'm assuming we'll be well past 50 by the end of the year, and next year I can see us having 100 or more," he says.
Fish said he got the idea for the grilled cheese tattoo promotion from the San Diego rock band Rocket From the Crypt. The band lets fans who have tattooed themselves with the band's rocket logo into its shows for free for life. Fish got his about 15 years ago, he tells Slashfood.
Customers have gotten tattoos of everything from angels to devils, pirates, vampires and flamingos with grilled cheese sandwiches incorporated in the designs, Fish said. "Some of them people are just taking the core logo and just getting that done and then some people are taking it and running with it."
Tattoo sporters get numbered membership cards, and the restaurant has teamed up with local tattoo parlor Voodoo Monkey Tattoo, which offers a discount for the sandwich tattoos. John Forgus of Voodoo Monkey Tattoo told the Associated Press one person came in for a tattoo of Popeye holding a grilled cheese sandwich instead of a spinach can.
"Its fun. Its been crazy. But this is kind of how the restaurant runs ... we have an open, comfortable atmostphere. We have a rock and roll vibe," he said.
Fish, however, does not have a grilled cheese tattoo of his own because he said he's superstitious.
"In tattoo lore, its considered taboo and really bad luck to get the name of your girlfriend or your wife's name. ... I'm approaching the restaurant as my significant other. I'm in a very committed relationship with my restaurant. I don't want to put a hex on it," Fish said. "I don't want to jinx it."
Melt Bar and Grilled will be featured on the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on Feb. 8, Fish said.
[Via Associated Press]
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