Each time he opens another Meddys, Alex Harb tries to make it better than its predecessor.
His original, which opened at 7906 E. Harry in 2014, had awkward seats and paper plates. When he opened his second 21st and Greenwich in 2016, he added designer tiles and a fancy outdoor patio with a stone fire place.
On Saturday, Harb will show off his latest upgrade when he opens his third Meddys, this one downtown on Washington Street near Douglas.
The restaurant, which has been under construction since earlier this year on the site of a former car lot at 120 S. Washington, is all ready to go, and Harb gave me a behind-the-scenes tour.
The main difference from his first two Meddys is that this one has a full bar with a long line of chairs where people can sit and enjoy craft cocktails, local beer and wine and champagne on tap.
The new Meddys also has a big door that opens to the outside patio, which features a double-sided fireplace. Inside, there’s seating for 100.
“This is a place to go out and have a nice meal and a nice drink at a nice place for a fair price,” Harb said.
The menu will be the same as at the first two Meddys — which features wraps, kebabs, hummus, fattoush and more — with a few additions. Customers will order their food at the counter and then have a seat. They’ll order their adult beverages at the bar, though there will be some cocktail waitresses tending to bar patrons.
My tour included a look at the kitchen, where the staff was busy grinding parsley, garbanzo beans and onions into falafel mix and where Harb was showing off his industrial hummus-making machine imported from Turkey. He dumps in the ingredients, hits the switch, and in two minutes, he has hummus for 140.
Patrons will be able to see cooks at work in the open kitchen and will be able to watch as rotating spits of meat are sliced to build sandwiches and other entrees.
Another interesting fact about the new downtown Meddys: Harb will stay open serving food and drink late into the evening — very late on weekends. The hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays; 10:30 a.m. to midnight on Thursdays; and 10:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.