Chef Geoff’s founder Geoff Tracy announced the partnership between his organization, which operates three local restaurants (Lia’s in Chevy Chase, as well as Chef Geoff’s outposts in Cathedral Heights and Tysons Corner) and Clover Restaurant Group (Tortilla Coast, four Cafe Deluxes in the area), on social media. The 50-50 split between Tracy, his brother Chris Tracy, and Clover’s father-son team of James Sullivan and Brian Sullivan places the Tracys in charge of day-to-day operations of the existing restaurants, while the Sullivans focus on growth opportunities.
“We’re not trying to meld the brands here. We want to maintain them differently,” Geoff Tracy says of the immediate impact on the comfort food-centric eateries. He tells Eater there won’t be any sudden crossovers — no super mugs of draft beer at Cafe Deluxe or chili-covered Frito pie at Lia’s — just a continuation of building on “a proud tradition of operating neighborhood restaurants.”
Both Tracy and the Sullivans have closed restaurants in the past few years, including the Tortilla Coast in Logan Circle that shut down last summer. Geoff Tracy says combining their well-known restaurants and built-in fan bases now will help secure a better future for everyone involved.
“This definitely position us to be strong and successful,” Geoff Tracy says.
He tells Eater that ongoing discussions with local landlords could bear fruit in the near term. While he declined to name specific locations he is scouting, Geoff Tracy says if things do fall into place he would like to try something different.
“I think it would make sense to have a new concept,” he says. “We could have an announcement in 2018.”