Community rallies behind closing Cheese-ology
Originally published in Student Life.
On Valentine’s Day evening, Cheese-ology was packed with customers dedicated to the soon-to-be-closed store. Some people had come because of the “Wash U Confessions” event. Others had come with friends or significant others. But all came to support Cheese-ology in its last month of business before the restaurant closes down.
Cheese-ology first announced through Facebook on February 9 that it would be closing its doors on March 7.
Owner of the restaurant Chef Bill attributed the closing to increased dairy prices, labor costs, and rent.
“Some people had suggested we increased our prices or start buying cheaper cheeses, and there’s no way I’m going to compromise the quality of my food,” Chef Bill said. “And being a consumer just like everyone else I really wanted to keep my prices.”
Since Cheese-ology’s food menu revolves primarily around macaroni and cheese, the quality of the cheese allows the restaurant to serve interesting and high-quality food.
“I think it’s awesome,” first-time customer and freshman Jordan Aronson said. “I really like the fact that you can create your own, and I’ve never been to a mac and cheese restaurant before.”
Since the restaurant announced its imminent closing, the community has responded with an outpouring of support. On this particular Saturday night, the line nearly reached the door, despite low temperatures and wind chill.
“The students have been incredible. We’ve seen a great response from them,” Chef Bill said. “It saddens me to see people so sad. I do take it really hard. I feel like I’m letting down my customers.”
Some students, based on a slew of “Wash U Confessions” posts, have started to leave close to 100 percent tips.
“I’ve seen an increase in tips in the last couple of days,” Chef Bill said. “My staff greatly appreciates it.”
After the restaurant closes, Chef Bill is looking to return to chemistry, the field he worked in prior to opening Cheese-ology. However, he says that he won’t rule out the possibility of Cheese-ology in the future.
“I have never told anyone that it’s ever, ever over,” he said. “I am at this point holding onto my name and my recipes and everything. We’ll never say never.”
Regardless of if you eat there every day or if you’ve never been before, Cheese-ology is a place to check out before its closing date. As one of the staple Loop eateries, it will surely be missed by Washington University students.
Until then, Chef Bill appreciates Wash. U. students for their encouragement in the restaurant’s time of hardship.
“I specifically put us here on the Delmar Loop because of the students, so I want to thank them very much for all the support,” he said. “It was a tough, tough, tough decision, but purely a business decision. We’ve been a popular restaurant here for the past 5 years, but unfortunately the rate of increase in costs started outpacing the rate of increase in customership.”
Students can enjoy the abundance of cheese, local drinks and vibrant atmosphere of Cheese-ology until March 7.