About Us

Two Men with a Dream and a Woman in Common, everyone has a story. Sometimes when life takes us on an unexpected journey, success finds us. This is most definitely the case for Joe Hishmeh and Jesse Ihrig, the co-owners of Cheezees Grill in St. Augustine. A native of Bridgewater, NJ, Joe became interested in the restaurant business after he divorced his wife, Colleen, in the late 90s. As life would have it, he and Colleen remained good friends after the divorce. Having moved to Florida just prior to the divorce, the two of them as friends rebuilt their lives. Joe opened a juice bar/health food restaurant in Coral Springs. Colleen married Jesse, the kitchen manager for the restaurant where they worked, and they relocated to St. Augustine to raise their newly formed family. Jump ahead fifteen years. Joe and Jesse, having remained friends, decided to go into business together. One night sitting around Jesse’s kitchen table the idea of Cheezees Grill was formed. Why not create a small restaurant that is dedicated to serving delicious, affordable meals where locals and tourists alike can come and feel at home?

If you take a look at Cheezees Grill’s menu, each item – from the “Christina Ballerina Portabella Mushroom Sandwich” to the “The Fussy Marge” has a specific story and meaning behind it which relates to a family member or a close friend. Christina, Colleen’s daughter, is a professional dancer. She is always watching her weight and chooses vegetarian options quite frequently.  Marge is Colleen’s mother and is always quite fussy about which slice of meat she gets. This might be the reason “The Fussy Marge” sandwich is so popular because Jesse only selects the best slices of chicken to put on the sandwich. And if you didn’t make the menu, you might be associated with one of the several weekly specials offered by Cheezees. Come in today and give Cheezees Grill a try. Ask us who our menu items are named after. But, more importantly, tell us your life story and see if you make it onto the menu. Type your paragraph here.