Grilled Cheese Grill and Northeast Alberta Street Bar the Knock Back Are Both Back in Business

That’s right, the glorious return of the Cheesus is upon us.

Over the past two years, we’ve seen plenty of bars and restaurants close, along with a slew of brave newcomers entering the market. But rarer is the resuscitation of any pandemic casualties.

Now, two businesses that shuttered during that era are back.

Food cart boom standout Grilled Cheese Grill and Northeast Alberta Street cocktail bar the Knock Back are both scheduled to reopen under the same roof Tuesday, July 26. Both are under new management, the team behind another Alberta-Vernon neighborhood spot: Donnie Vegas.

The Knock Back, which originally launched at 2315 NE Alberta St. in 2013, quietly closed in 2020 after launching an unsuccessful GoFundMe campaign to try to keep the business afloat.

Grilled Cheese Grill, which made gussied-up versions of the children’s lunch staple in a converted school bus, switched off its griddles at the pandemic’s outset. Owner Matt Breslow then said responsibilities caring for his young son kept him from opening back up. Then in 2021, he learned the lot he operated out of had been sold to a developer, and decided relocating would not be worth the effort.

As both businesses start anew, you can expect to find plenty of old favorites on the food menu—including the glorious return of the Cheesus, a next-level grilled cheese where two sandwiches slathered in aioli serve as the buns for a burger patty topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion.

In addition to 11 varieties of sandwiches, you’ll find an “anti-brunch menu” with three offerings that stuff breakfast fare, like bacon and eggs, in between two slices of bread, and a couple of sides, including tomato soup.

Meanwhile, the Knock Back offers cocktails on tap, slushies, a rotating craft beer list, wine, and zero-proof drinks.

The updated interior features new banquette seating and communal tables, a kitchen pickup window, a botanical living wall installation, and two murals—the exterior one painted by ubiquitous “slow down” sign artist Mike Bennett.

The grand opening kicks off at 4 pm Tuesday, July 26, and lasts until midnight, when you can pretend it’s 2019, the pandemic never happened, and neither of these businesses closed.