Cheeses Murphy moves from night to day

In addition to its nighttime venture in Waterloo, Cheeses Murphy now operates out of a Kitchener location. (Photo by Heather Davidson)
In addition to its nighttime venture in Waterloo, Cheeses Murphy now operates out of a Kitchener location. (Photo by Heather Davidson)

“For me it’s like the perfect drunk food.”

Those are the words of Marc Lacompte, the proud owner of Cheeses Murphy, a popular late-night eatery in Kitchener-Waterloo. Cheeses Murphy is a pop-up style restaurant that specializes in unique grilled cheese sandwiches. And for the last two years, Lacompte’s grilled cheesery has only been available for seven hours a week as its only location was in the lobby of The Princess Café in Uptown Waterloo.

However, this summer, Lacompte has taken his sandwiches out of the night, opening up a new daily location in Kitchener’s downtown.

“The opportunity came up that there was a café where we are currently [located] right now,” Lacompte explained when asked about the expansion of Cheeses Murphy.

“They were ending their lease and the landlord of the building got in touch with us saying ‘if you want the space then its yours.’”

Located on the Duke Food Block, Cheeses Murphy joins a strip of popular lunchtime destinations and local restaurants.

“To be apart of this block is an important thing for the food culture of this city,” Lacompte pointed out. “I didn’t have a full business plan […] it was more of an opportunity that presented itself that I didn’t want to pass up”

Specialty grilled cheese sandwiches has become somewhat of a popular trend amongst cities. However, the idea of opening up their own brand of sandwiches came to Lacompte and his wife, Celine, a few years back.

The couple was debating whether or not to open up a food truck as part of a pilot project that was occurring in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. However, due to the uncertainty of the success of food trucks, Lacompte and his wife decided to stick with their own space.

“We just thought, ‘hey, we’ve got this space right around all these bars here, let’s do a pop up in the lobby,’” Lacompte explained.“Within three weeks of coming up with the idea, we had designed the menu, had a logo, and just started doing it.”

There was no grand opening of Cheeses Murphy when it was first installed into the Princes Café. There wasn’t even a formal announcement. In fact, all of Lacompte’s marketing came from social media, namely Twitter.

“I like to take pride in the fact that we have never spent any money advertising Cheeses. And now, we have like 2,000 followers on Twitter,” he said.

A new location will allow for better operating hours and a wider clientele.

“It’s cool because we get a different customer base [at the Duke location],” Lacompte continued. “It’s usually people who knew about us and never stayed up late enough on weekends to come out, or it’s people who walk by here a lot and saw our sign.”

Regardless, Cheeses Murphy has only been open for four weeks and has since received much positive feedback. Boasting a menu of seven grilled cheese options, Cheeses Murphy is also known for their witty sandwich names and tribute to popular culture. Lacompte is actually the one who invents the sandwich recipes and enjoys naming his sandwiches after current affairs.
“We try to have a lot of fun with it,” Lacompte smiled. “Any time we do that, it’s always in great taste. It’s really about adding culture to this city through food.”

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