Nothing cheesy about Twisted Meltz’s celebrity sandwich namesakes

Jesse Orantek

The scent of grilled cheese wafts in the air as the blue, glass door is opened from Acorn Alley. The sound of the grill sizzles in the background. Bar stools are lined across a counter top, with hungry customers eating their favorite grilled cheese creations.

“What can I get for you?” an employee behind the counter said.

A massive chalkboard menu with the menu with many different colored chalk is suspended in the front of the eatery.

On the menu, Twisted Meltz grilled cheese and gourmet sandwiches are listed—all named after a famous person from the Kent area.

“My one son has always liked the grilled cheese concept,” said Kelly Tannous, owner of Twisted Meltz.

Her son — Steve, also an owner of the Kent restaurant — developed the idea of a famous Kent person-themed grilled cheese restaurant when he came across a piece of material listing all of the famous, well-known people from the town.

Steve combined the two ideas to create the restaurant.

The owners, Kelly and Steve, began matching names with various types of signature grilled cheeses.

For example, the “Josh Cribbs” consists of fried turkey, honey ham, hickory bacon and swiss cheese. The “Drew Carey” is a combination of buffalo chicken, blue cheese and caramelized onions.

Now, the full menu includes more than 25 gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with soups, salads, appetizers, craft beers and Ashby’s ice cream to go with.

The family owned business has eight family members working at the restaurant, including Kelly and Steve.

“We didn’t have any restaurant experiences,” Kelly said. The family members all learned about the business at the same time.

Kelly said that although owning a family business is a great and fun experience, it is much different from owning a regular (business).

“Family vacations are hard,” Kelly said. But she ensures that their business is well liked within Kent, saying that “people like to come in and see the family.”

Twisted Meltz received great publicity when it came to Kent in January of 2014. The Kent Area Chamber of Commerce helped to get the word out about the new business, and it has been growing in popularity ever since.

In the future, Kelly hopes to expand their growing restaurant to new locations, one potentially in Cuyahoga Falls.

“Kent has an old fashioned flare,” Kelly said. “People really care about the small businesses here.”

Contact Jesse Orantek at [email protected].