Melt celebrates ten year anniversary with art challenge

September 21st, 2016

The original Melt Bar and Grilled restaurant located in Lakewood is celebrating their 10 year anniversary this September. On Friday, Sept. 16, the PopEye Gallery located in 78th Street Studios will host a unique art show inspired by this beloved, Cleveland-native restaurant. The winner of the art show will win Melt for a year.

78th Street Studios is the largest art and design complex in Northeast Ohio, featuring 170,000 square feet of art galleries, artist studios, performance spaces and music recording studios. Every third Friday of the month from 5 – 9 pm, over 50 venues inside 78th Street Studios open up at the same time to present compelling visual exhibits, ambient music, delicious cuisine and pop-up vendors.

This month’s third Friday event will feature 30 artists participating in the Melt Art Challenge, featuring art that was inspired by the restaurant. Serving as the judges are owner Matt Fish, long time art collaborators John Greiner, Jake Kelly, Dana Depew and Derek Hess, owner of his own 78th Street gallery.

Special art pieces by John Greiner, Jake Kelly and Derek Hess will also be on display.

Unlike other restaurants in the Cleveland area, the artwork on display at the Melt is not on a temporary loan, but rather a permanent part of their collection. Art has always been a big part of Melt, and owner, Matt Fish has always been adamant that artwork is to be included in the restaurant.

Fish stated, “I’ve always looked at Melt as a rock band” and continues to hold that aesthetic close. He looked for artists around the Cleveland area that had art in that pop-rock genre and bought it in order to create that same aesthetic, which is when he discovered Greiner and their partnership formed.

In 2008, Greiner featured Melt in one of his pieces. The day it was published, Fish called wanting to purchase it. This poster can still be seen in the Lakewood Melt today.

In March of 2009, Greiner was hired to create monthly posters. Greiner is an on-going artist for Melt, with his posters being displayed on the restaurant’s walls. They continue to be a huge success and are often purchased off the walls in Melt.

Editor’s Note: Information from, and was used in this report.