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Posted at 5:03 PM ET, 05/ 6/2009

The Empire Expands: Spike Family Buys Space Next Door

By Julia Beizer

Burgers? Check. Greek? Up next. Pizza? Maybe yet to come for Spike Mendelsohn. (James M. Thresher for The Washington Post)

Ever since Good Stuff Eatery opened to raves last summer, folks have been speculating about where and when the Mendelsohn clan -- and its most well-known member, "Top Chef" contestant Spike -- would be expanding. "Is Spike opening another Good Stuff in Dupont?" was a recurring (and unanswered) Got Plans? question just a couple of weeks ago.

Well, the Dupont thing isn't least for now. But, as of Monday, the family purchased Zack's Taverna, the Greek restaurant located just next door. Big changes will roll out slowly at the new space, says Micheline Mendelsohn (Spike's sister and director of communications for the business). This week, they're figuring out staffing, cleaning up the restaurant, getting in new food products and serving simple Greek dishes. Spike's new menu is set to roll out on May 18. Expect Greek fare, but instead of the 50-plus list of items on the Zack's menu, a more curated selection of 10 to 15. They may add pizza to the lineup over the course of the summer. (For a look at what the chef has been exploring, check out this New York magazine article about his pizza binge in New York City. Spike has been busy; he's also working on a series of Web cooking videos.)

The family holds the lease for a new Good Stuff in Union Station, but the ETA on that one is yet to be determined because construction at the site has stalled.

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | May 6, 2009; 5:03 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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Well, if Spike can do for greek food what he has done for burgers, we have dry, tasteless, mass-produced, assembly line gyros to look forward to! And do-it-yourself milkshakes (when I went there, they asked me to help them make my own milkshake).

Posted by: bucky_katt | May 6, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

The upstairs bar at Zack's Taverna was one of the most genuine neighborhood bars on Capitol Hill. Cyndi is the best bartender around, and I really hope Spike knows the value of keeping Cyndi and her loyal customers around.

Posted by: ZacksAllstars | May 7, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I agree about Cyndi. Cyndi was the only bartender on Capitol Hill who cared to learn my name. I will gladly follow her wherever she heads next. Spike seems like a good guy on TV. He should let her head up a small bar upstairs.

Posted by: smharper1 | May 7, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

When I spoke with Micheline yesterday she said "We're not firing anybody" so I think she'll still be around even as other changes take place at Zack's.

Posted by: Julia Beizer | May 7, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Cyndi is a Capitol Hill treasure. Yo, Spike, do the right thing! Bring back Cyndi!

Posted by: NTACAllStar | May 7, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Hi Julia, I have actually heard that it was quite the contrary, and the bar staff were told they no longer had jobs when they went in to work this week. Cyndi does not have a job anymore. I think that's terrible, and if that is how Spike is going to do business on the Hill, I will boycott all of his restaurants!

Posted by: ZacksAllstars | May 8, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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