Demetri Mechelis’s introduction to the hospitality industry was at his father’s restaurant, Aleko’s Taverna. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, Mechelis first line cook role was at Chef Peter Hoffman’s restaurant, Back Forty, in New York City. Mechelis followed Chef Ryan Tate, to the now closed, 40-seat fine dining Le Restaurant.
In 2014, Mechelis returned to the Washington, D.C. area to be closer to family. Demetri started at Michelin starred, Tail Up Goat, in 2016, where he met his future wife and business partner, Tara Smith. Not long after Mechelis began daydreaming about opening a pizzeria in the NW neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant. Mechelis and Smith found a cozy basement space and developed the concept for a pizzeria that was part Greek taverna and part neighborhood bar. Named after Mechelis’s mother, Martha Dear opened in late 2020. Demetri can be found there five nights a week, Wednesday – Sunday.