Roaring Fork Restaurant Group, the Milwaukee-based Qdoba Mexican franchisee, will debut Grate Mac & Cheesein late summer at the Whitestone Station development in Menomonee Falls.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Abby Hansen, director of marketing at Roaring Fork. “We wanted to diversify and develop our own concept, and we have had great success in the fast-casual space. We also knew mac and cheese here in Wisconsin is something we could hang out hats on.”
[caption id="attachment_318930" align="alignright" width="392"] Rendering of Grate Mac & Cheese.[/caption]
Construction on the 2, 500-square-foot fast-casual restaurant will begin at N92 W16125 Falls Parkway in June.
Grate will feature a Woodstone oven on display so guests can watch their mac and cheese from start to finish. The restaurant will feature 10 to 12 gourmet mac and cheese entrees, including buffalo chicken, chicken bacon jalapeno ranch and green chile pepperjack.
“The cheese is really the hero in our concept,” Hansen said. “We’ve been captivated by the emerging segment of mac and cheese restaurant concepts. We love the product, and we’re all connected to the nostalgia of mac and cheese as comfort food.”
Roaring Fork has partnered with the award-winning, third-generation Master Cheesemakers at Renard’s Cheese in Door County to purchase its cheese and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board as a resource during the group’s recipe research and development in the last year.
Roaring Fork chose the new Whitestone Station location in Menomonee Falls as the spot for its debut Grate Mac and Cheese because of its accessibility from the highway and its appeal to families, Hansen said.
The restaurant group has operated a Qdoba in Menomonee Falls since 2008. Grate will employee about 25 people.
Roaring Fork, is the largest Qdoba Mexican Eats franchisee in the country with 54 locations. It opened its first Qdoba restaurant in 1998 on Milwaukee’s east side.