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Cheese, Please! Late-Night Mac and Cheese Spot Opens in Rogers Park

Attention, foodies: late-night food spot Midnight Mac and Cheeserie is back as of May 26. The specialty restaurant sold out during its opening weekend and closed for the rest of the week to re-stock. The eatery is one of three new food establishments opening on the 6900 block of North Sheridan Road.

Antony van Zyl, owner of Midnight Mac and Cheeserie and Wired Coffee House in Evanston, will open Nibbles and Nosh, a café and brunch restaurant, alongside the cheeserie. The pair will share the same dining space and will share a kitchen with the third eatery: XO Marshmallow.

XO Marshmallow is a marshmallow-themed café co-owned by one of van Zyl’s daughters, Kathryn Connor, and her partner, Lindzi Shanks. XO Marshmallow will open business  two doors down from the cheeserie.

“I was actually hoping to open [Nibbles and Nosh] this weekend, but with the blowout of Midnight Mac and Cheeserie, we have to get that sorted out, so I have to push the opening back a few weeks,” van Zyl said.

XO Marshmallow is also hoping to open in June.

When van Zyl opened Midnight Mac and Cheeserie the previous weekend, he sold out within hours. He said because of how overwhelming that weekend was, he was willing to push back the café’s opening date to focus on managing the mac and cheeserie.

“On Sunday night alone we went through 200 pounds of mac and cheese,” van Zyl said. “That’s a lot of mac and cheese, and we ran out.”

He said the line of customers extended down the street and around the block. The restaurant also received a large number of online orders.

Van Zyl said he made necessary changes for the grand re-opening of the eatery — he increased its production capacity and ordered more food.

In addition to preparing more food, van Zyl also expanded the physical space. Nibbles and Nosh and Midnight Mac and Cheeserie will share dining space. The café will have use of the space during the day while mac and cheese eaters will use it at night, though the cheeserie will be primarily based on takeout and delivery, according to van Zyl.

Despite experiencing opening-night setbacks, van Zyl said the reception he’s received from the neighborhood has been positive. He said he’s thrilled to be in the Rogers Park neighborhood and lucky to have acquired the former Growling Rabbit space because the idea for the mac and cheeserie had been in the back of his mind for years.

Van Zyl said the food industry has changed dramatically over the years, but he’s noticed an old technique is regaining popularity and effectiveness. Food singularities, as he calls it, is where a company will focus on one item in particular, a technique used for foods such as pizza.

“People can really narrow down the information to something that’s very specific, make it really well and do more with that one item than they could do in the past,” van Zyl said.

For him, mac and cheese was the perfect food item to focus on because, in his experience with his children and others, people rarely get tired of it.

If opening weekend was any indication, van Zyl might just be right.

“We’re open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., or until we sell out,” van Zyl said with a laugh.

Midnight Mac & Cheeserie is located at 6967 N. Sheridan Road.

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