Tally Mac Shack opens on FSU campus

Tally Mac Shack celebrates grand opening at FSU. Photo by Marquel Bowen

It has been seven months since the grand opening of the Tally Mac Shack restaurant on the city’s south side, located inside Happy Motoring on South Adams Street.

The award-winning business has just celebrated another grand opening, this time on the campus of Florida State University.

The 1851 Dining Hall on FSU’s campus was decorated with flashy yellow, white and black balloons in addition to mac and cheese props for the celebratory occasion. The air was permeated with scents of multiple cheese blends accompanied by savory pulled pork and chicken options produced from the kitchen of the Tally Mac Shack staff.

The ceremony also provided music, a photo-op station, free tastings and an Apple AirPods raffle for the audience to take part in while anticipating the start of the event.

Greg Tish, who served as the DJ for the ceremony, filled the room with tunes and talked about how the company has grown in just a couple of years.

“This is just incredible. I was at their first event ever and to watch them grow into this beautiful space is just heart-warming,” said Tish.

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey expressed how thrilled he was about Tally Mac Shack and other mac and cheese businesses choosing this city to do business. Dailey also praised Tally Mac Shack as being the prime example of the true entrepreneurial spirit of Tallahassee. “They started off with just one food truck and now they have multiple food trucks, numerous locations and now they’ve just opened up this restaurant on campus. It’s pretty amazing,” said Dailey.

The occasion served as a huge accomplishment for Tally Mac Shack owner Justo Cruz. Cruz touts that FSU is a leading institution because of its ability to embrace and allow local businesses to be an intricate part of student life.

Cruz confessed his love for mac and cheese and recalled when he was responsible for making the mac and cheese dish at Thanksgiving dinners. For Cruz, it made sense to intertwine his entrepreneurial dreams with his passion for mac and cheese. While developing his business concept it was imperative for Cruz to focus on one specific avenue that would allow him to maximize his end-goal.

“When you think about it, everyone grew up eating mac and cheese as a kid. This allowed us to tap into a nerve that provided a familiar product to most consumers everywhere,” said Cruz.

While there are many other competitors in the mac and cheese industry, Cruz remains confident in his business’ ability to remain relevant and sought-after in Tallahassee. Tally Mac Shack prides itself on its creativity and versatility through its multiple cheese bases and different protein options. Every week the company entices consumers by unleashing a new weekly mac.

For Florida A&M University’s homecoming week, the company devoted a new spicy mac titled The Snake Bite, which consisted of a blend of ground beef and Spanish chorizo with a mixture of white cheddar, provolone and Swiss cheeses infused with the chef’s extra hot sauce.

Cruz is excited about a new food truck concept that will be introduced as the Slide Hustle. The Slide Hustle will specialize in various types of sliders that will include tuna, chicken, burgers and Cuban sandwiches. The sliders are scheduled to debut later this month.