Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz opening new location in downtown St. Pete

St. Pete Rising

Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz will feature 13 innovative, one-of-a-kind sandwiches.

Today is National Grilled Cheese Day and Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz is celebrating by announcing plans to open a second brick and mortar location this summer in Downtown St. Pete at 111 3rd Street North , formerly occupied by Five Guy’s Burger and Fries.

This location will be in addition to the Fo’Cheezy food truck and their first restaurant at 6305 Gulf Boulevard on St. Pete Beach.

To celebrate the new location and National Grilled Cheese Day, swing by the St. Pete Beach location from 3 pm to 6 pm today to grab a free triple OG. Be sure to bring the kiddos too -- kids eat free all day with a paying adult.

Specializing in ultimate comfort food that appeals to all ages and backgrounds, Fo’Cheezy puts a twist on the ordinary grilled cheese with a menu of 13 innovative, one-of-a-kind melts. You can also activate your own culinary creativity by building a customized grilled cheese sandwich called the “Selfie Melt.”

Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz will be located in Downtown St. Pete at 111 3rd Street North, formerly occupied by Five Guy’s Burger and Fries.

The selections range from the classic “Triple OG,” boasting a blend of American, aged Swiss, and cheddar cheeses to a much more robust “Hot Mess” made with crispy cheddar cheese curds, smoked gouda, cheddar fondue, braised beef short rib, pickled red onions, crispy tots, horseradish aioli and poutine beef gravy. It only takes a moment of browsing the menu to realize that Fo’Cheezy doesn’t serve your momma’s grilled cheese!

Each sandwich can be made on artisan sourdough or whole wheat bread. Available sides include a variety of tater tot selections, cheese curds, mac n’ cheese, or the massive trailer trash sundae (you’ll want to loosen your belt for this one).

Fo’Cheezy puts a twist on the ordinary grilled cheese with a menu of 13 innovative, one-of-a-kind melts.

Make sure to snag a cup of the popular “purple drank”, which combines prickly pear, blackberry, and lemonade flavors, to wash it all down. Also on the drink menu are hand-spun shakes that bring the same Fo’Cheezy twist on simple chocolate and vanilla flavors.

At first glance, Fo’Cheezy may not seem like it aligns with your New Year’s resolution to finally get healthy. But owner, Robert Hesse, who has successfully lost 455 pounds after three heart attacks, has ensured that there are healthier options, such as soups and salads, for people looking for a lighter fare. Gluten-free bread, vegan cheese, and plant-based options are available upon request.

Fo’Cheezy is meant to be an experience and not just a stop into a generic restaurant concept. “We want to be a dime among nickels by providing a dope atmosphere, quality food, and an escape from the drama that may be happening in the world," said Hesse. “You’ll come in smiling and leave smiling.”

The new location will have the same hip-hop and urban vibe complete with customized graffiti as the food truck and first location. The censored hip-hop music from the ‘80s to the early ‘00s creates a sense of nostalgia and pays homage to the culture that raised Hesse.

Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz will also feature spectacular dessert options.

“The Downtown St. Pete location will take Fo’Cheezy’s vibe to the next level with live music, DJ’s, rap battles, breakdance expos, poetry drops, open mic nights, and more,” Hesse excitedly shared. “And one piece that I’m really proud of is the installation of the front end of a chopped Impala that will hang on one of the walls. We’ve thought of everything.”

An experienced and accomplished chef, Robert Hesse launched the Fo’Cheezy food truck on March 18, 2020 in hopes of introducing the “twisted meltz” concept to his hometown of St. Pete. Two days later, the stay-at-home order was issued and as quickly as he opened, he was in danger of having to close.

But Hesse’s difficult past along with a mountain of restaurant experience allowed him and his team to innovate. Overcoming obstacles seems to be the theme of Hesse’s life, even from the very beginning. Hesse was raised in the Child’s Park neighborhood of St. Pete and became a ward of the state. He was in and out of foster homes, group homes, and eventually jail.

Despite grappling with drug abuse and fighting the trauma left behind from child abuse, Hesse found his passion in the kitchen, starting as a dishwasher at a local restaurant.

Robert Hesse, owner of Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz

Everything changed when he became a contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen” in 2009. The connections he developed from that opportunity has allowed him to work with celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, Anthony Bourdain and on the set of the television show “Breaking Bad.”

Once he returned to St. Pete, he decided it was time to launch his own restaurant concept.

With all of his success, Hesse said he still felt out of place. “I’ve never felt like I belonged, and I wanted to create a space for people to feel comfortable. If they are looking to belong in a group that feels like family, then I wanted to create that space.” This was the motivation behind the design and culture of Fo’Cheezy.

Hesse is adamant that the success of Fo’Cheezy is 100% because of the St. Pete community. “This is the people’s restaurant. They built the following and have supported us from day one, which is why we are committed to supporting the community with the same passion and dedication.” Hesse gives back to the community by donating 2% of sales to help inner-city youth through the nonprofit “No Kid 86.”

Fo’Cheezy Twisted Meltz will be located at 111 3rd Street North and open Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 3 am. A grand opening is expected in late June. Be sure to visit Fo’Cheezy’s website for more information and follow them on Instagram and Facebook .

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St. Pete Rising is an urban development blog covering future retail, restaurants, and real estate in Downtown St. Petersburg, FL.

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