|Robert Viox, owner of Alexandria's popular For Mile Pig barbeque is launching an entirely new concept food truck, Four Mile Melt, next month.|
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by Robin Gee Two words to make your mouth water: melted cheese! This is the concept behind a new food truck experience coming to Alexandria in April.
Robert Viox, owner of the popular Four Mile Pig barbeque restaurant, is launching a new concept next month, Four Mile Melt, a drive-up food truck that will feature grilled cheese sandwiches, patty melts, cheeseburgers and more.
Viox will wrap his former barbeque-themed truck with new Four Mile Melt branding, and it will be parked on property on the corner of Poplar Ridge and US 27, on the same property occupied by All Season’s Car Wash.
He plans to have the truck wrapped and ready on March 28th with a soft opening the third week of April and a grand opening soon after.
Four Mile Pig: fast break from truck to brick-and-mortar
Viox opened Four Mile Pig barbeque as a food truck soon after retiring from his position as vice president of Food and Beverage at Jack’s Casino in spring of 2019. He worked out a deal with Alexandria Brewing Company and that location became his home base for his first two years in business.
The business was growing and things were going very well when the pandemic hit. Like almost all food establishments at the time, Four Mile Pig was hit hard. Alexandria Brewing was forced to shut down its public space. Viox had to switch gears quickly.
"That’s exactly what we did. We had to pivot out of the brewery fast because the bar was closed... I had this investment, this business, and so I rebuilt right down the road, a few feet from that location. We’re now right across from the Alexandria Middle School and right across the street from the fire department. We have a primo location."
By stepping away from his comfort zone in the brewery and making the move to a new location at a time when it wasn’t clear what might happen, Viox had to get creative. He remodeled the building, which had once been a car dealership, and added a drive through window. The drive through was a saving grace. For the first four months, the operation was drive-up window only. He has since slowly added seating inside as safety restrictions permit.
The move, in fact, took Four Mile Pig to the next level.
"Our business has skyrocketed since we moved, more than doubled from what we were the first two years. The brand continues to do well. We were voted the best barbeque in Northern Kentucky by Northern Kentucky Magazine...but I want to grow the business. My goal is to get the revenue up to a million dollars a year and right now I’m about two-thirds of the way there," he said.
He said he realized, to move ahead on his goal, he would need something more. He decided to utilize his earliest asset, the food truck.
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Growing the business: Four Mile Melt
|The Four Mile Melt food truck will be wrapped with fun branding graphics at the end of March with an opening anticipated for the third week of April.|
Right now, Viox is leasing the property for his new concept, Four Mile Melt. Unlike most food trucks, the operation will not be walk-up. To keep things safe as possible, customers will drive up to the truck window, place their order and park off to the side for a few minutes to wait for their food, which is prepared fresh. "It’ll only take four or five minutes depending on the order," he said.
The space he has on the lot is visible from the highway and has plenty of room for customers to pull up and park as they wait for their order. It is clear Viox is having a good time planning his new menu. There won't be barbeque, but the cheese will flow.
"The menu starts off with kids’ grilled cheese. It’s amazing grilled cheese that doesn’t have any crust on it. When I was growing up I didn’t like crust on my bread... Then we have amazing grilled cheese sandwiches that work for parents and people my age. We also have hand-breaded chicken breast sandwiches...a buffalo one and one that’s deluxe with lettuce, tomato, choice of cheese and so forth."
He noted, "I think our most popular item is going to be our patty melt burgers...We have your traditional third of a pound of black angus burger with swiss cheese and sauteed onions on a marble rye bun...and then we'll have our super deluxe cheeseburger..."
Prices will be kept affordable, he said. "We want to be right in the range of Wendy’s as far as prices go," he added.
For Viox, dream come true
"When I started this, I wanted my own business and I’ve worked every day since. I work seven days a week but very much enjoy it. I’m not getting rich, but we are able to pay all our bills, making a couple of bucks, and we’re making a name for ourselves," Viox said.
"I worked for people for 40 years and I wanted to be on my own. I wanted to do my own thing. I have a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm about the business. I’m gonna work another 10 years and have fun while I’m working."
Again, watch for the Four Mile Melt truck in the third week of April at the corner of Poplar Ridge and US 27.
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