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Home » FOOD AND WINE in CT » CONNECTICUT (all topics) » New Haven’s ‘Big Cheese’
The Delicious Caprese at The Park Central Tavern
New Haven’s ‘Big Cheese’

Part 2 - More Than Just an Eating Experience

By Brian Scott-Smith | January 30, 2012

Previous Article in this Series

Jason Sobocinski took a bold step just over four years ago and plunged himself into the restaurant world.

The Caseus Food Truck

An industry that can be notoriously fickle and hard work, he found a niche and has exploited it to the max.

As the owner of Caseus, a cheese shop and gastro pub in New Haven, he’s created quite a following and for those who want a cheaper cheese experience, he has hit the streets with his very own cheese truck.

Sobocinski admits to being a street food junkie and working with his younger brother Tom, who always wanted a food truck, came up with the idea.

“We thought, let’s do something straightforward, that we know we can do well and nail and that would be our grilled cheese. The grilled cheese in the truck is different to the one in the restaurant. And I like the idea of getting out onto the streets because Caseus is not attainable to everyone. So five bucks and you get a great grilled cheese sandwich and it lets us be creative.”

Using the truck’s website, and social media, people can find out where the cheese truck will be in the city each day as it moves from location to location.

A clever piece of marketing, which is tastier than a paper flyer, and has meant Caseus doesn’t require expensive advertising.

So where do you go next after all of this success? Well television of course. Cooking shows are big business and Sobocinski managed to bag himself a show all about his passion for cheese for the Cooking Channel, part of the Food Network.

Called ‘The Big Cheese’, he recalls the fun and hard work surrounding the show.

The Park Central Tavern

“It was a ton of fun but a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’ve worked in the restaurant industry all my life, fourteen hour days, but it was tough, you have to be ‘on’ in front of the camera all the time, it gets exhausting.

“I put together most of the places we went, because I wanted to go there, and it was a learning experience and I’d do it again. Right now I’m waiting to hear if they want to do anymore.”

Back in the world of business he’s now opened another restaurant in nearby Hamden but hasn’t chosen to use the Caseus name. The Park Central Tavern, says Sobocinski, is different as he wants Caseus to remain unique.

“I wanted to expand in some way, this was an infrastructure that was already set up but it had a brand that was a little undefined in many directions. So, I’m honing it down and defining the brand, bringing in some grass fed beef and local vegetables, when they start growing again and supporting the local community. I want to be consistently good but consistently different. I don’t want a chain and I don’t want to replicate Caseus because people will go there with that expectation and I want Park Central to be different and for people to see that difference.”

The Caseus Cookbook

The energy that Sobocinski has for his businesses is infectious and what is great is that he doesn’t take it too seriously but just seriously enough.

Now he’s a published writer with the new Caseus cookbook, something Sobocinski says he’d always wanted to do and using a local publishing company and helps from family and friends he’s put in to print his story so far.

It has the obligatory mouth-watering recipes and of course the cheese you can buy from the shop, but it also gives an insight in to this very savvy thirty four year old, who apart from running multiple businesses, is married and has a young son, who he takes turn in looking after amidst all the other madness of his life. Yes we shouldn’t forget the ‘working dads’ of this world too.

In these hard economic times for everyone it’s great to see the American dream still exists.

Sobocinski is a hard worker and says that if he sleeps more than five to six hours a day he feels like he’s missing out.

Maybe it’s because he’s a dad with a young son or because he truly is an inspirational person with a lot to achieve.

But whatever it is, his success is well deserved and you couldn’t hope to meet a more down to Earth genuine guy who took his passion and has let us all share in it.



The Park Central Tavern

1640 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT 06517

(203) 287-8887


Opening Hours:

Mon-Thu: 11:30AM-12AM

Fri & Sat: 11:30AM-1AM

Sun: 10AM-11PM

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