An extension of Keystone Bar & Grill, this fast-casual restaurant puts a twist on typical comfort food. The only other location is currently outside the University of Cincinnati's campus.
Maureen Murray, the marketing manager for Four Entertainment Group's Keystone division, which runs Keystone's Mac Shack, said the restaurant is known for its late-night hours.
The Cincinnati location is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on the weekend. Murray said closing hours for the Athens location may be around 4 a.m.
The restaurant is also known for its musically-inspired mac and cheese meals and unique combinations, Murray said.
"I think one of the things we've focused on recently is being super customizable," Murray said. "We have our mac and cheese on the menu but then people can mix and match their own and make whatever they want out of their mac and cheese."
Charlie Wilson, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati, said he would frequently eat at Keystone's Mac Shack during the school year.
"(My friends and I) definitely went out of our way to go to (Keystone's) a few times," Wilson said. "Me and my roommates found it (was) really good, and it's one of the closest actual restaurants, other than fast food places, you can go into."
Bennett Snyder, an Ohio University junior studying journalism, said he has also visited Keystone's Cincinnati location while visiting friends at UC. "The first time I had it, I knew I didn't want to eat any other late-night food ever if I visited them," Snyder said. "I felt like it was the perfect combination of heavy but not too heavy (as) a late night meal and it was really good."
Although Snyder said the most popular menu items were the Powerhouse and Buffalo Springfield mac and cheese, his favorite dish was the Cordon Lightfoot, which adds chicken, ham and Swiss cheese to a traditional macaroni meal.
Snyder said he was happy to see the grub spot expand into another college town and is excited to experience the specialized Athens location.
"I think it's really smart to open on another college campus," Snyder said. "I think their business model at UC is a really smart thing, being open super late. There's definitely some competition in Athens in the late-night food department but I think it'll do really well."
Murray explained that the late-night convenience concept works with younger people, and the decision to expand into Athens has been received positively by students and residents.
"I think [Keystone wants] to expand more into college towns," Murray said. "OU just has a really great footprint of nightlife… so it was a fun way to make the next step of expanding, but within an attainable distance and demographic."