Best Restaurant Concept

Cheese-ology Macaroni & Cheese

After fourteen years as a medical researcher at Washington University, Bill Courtney wanted to try something new. He decided to open a restaurant. A risky proposition at any time — even more so in the midst of a sputtering economy. Yet Courtney had a way to make his restaurant stand out: mac & cheese. Who doesn't love mac & cheese? Better yet, Courtney devised a menu with more than a dozen different kinds of mac & cheese, from a basic blend of American and cheddar cheeses to the "Santa Fe" (Chihuahua and Monterey jack cheeses with salsa and grilled chicken) to the "Bacon, Bacon" (Gruyère and mozzarella with, yes, bacon). For the masterstroke, Courtney chose a location smack-dab in the middle of the Delmar Loop, crawling with mac & cheese-loving kids (and their parents, who probably still love the stuff, too) and within walking distance of Washington University (college students being noted mac & cheese fiends). No one can say with any confidence whether a given restaurant will succeed, but between his concept and his location, Courtney has given Cheese-ology a heckuva head start.

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