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First Look: Melt Sandwich Shoppe Opens Next Week

Deli counter where you get your meal.
Deli counter where you get your meal.

Melt Sandwich Shoppe is opening in Bucktown next week, and although the concept may be simple, the ingredients look to be well thought out, healthy and high quality. Dion Antic (Bagel on Damen, Porkchop) is behind the concept and his vision is to make this a comfortable, familiar neighborhood spot that is incredibly kid-friendly as well.

In fact, walking into Melt, it's hard not to be transported back to childhood regardless of your age. The 37-seat restaurant looks a lot like a grade school classroom with the left wall covered in chalkboard and lined with vintage child-sized desks. You can even grab a piece of chalk off the desk and add to the doodles on the wall. The room also has one long cafeteria table for communal dining and a handful of smaller white tables with various bright colored plastic chairs. The front counter has candy jars filled with 25 cent "Americana" candy like Tootsie Rolls, Bit-o-Honey and Bazooka gum. Underneath the counter are shelves filled with children's books.

Although the space may be reminiscent of school, the food is far from it. Sandwiches make up the majority of the menu, with four all-natural soups and a few salad choices available as well. All of the sandwiches are served on Red Hen or Gabby's bread and the plan is to start making gluten-free bread in house. The meats come from Zoe's Meats out of California and are all-natural and nitrate free.

The selections will change seasonally but some of the current sandwiches include: The Backwoods on whole wheat bread with nitrate-free smoked turkey, Cajun spiced cheddar, garden tomato and bacon aioli; The Provence on country sourdough with herbs de Provence roasted mixed mushrooms, truffle white cheddar and munster; and The Santa Cruz a spinach tortilla folded and stuffed with artichoke hearts, cherry tomato, roasted vegetable cream cheese and provolone. All sandwiches come with a side of soup or chips and a pickle. Alterra Coffee, Benjamin Teas, fresh squeezed juices and vegan sodas are available to drink. Most menu items are under $10.

Melt is cash only and will be open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Delivery service will also begin a few weeks after opening. If all goes well, Antic plans to add a location in the Pilsen area in the near future.
· Dion Antic Working on Melt Sandwich Shop [~EChi~]

Bagel on Damen

1252 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 (773) 772-2243