Boise, Idaho-based Gyro Shack has brought its Chicago/Greek-style dishes to Tucson, marking the brand’s first Arizona location.
Located at 5775 E. Broadway Boulevard, Gyro Shack serves the authentic Greek street food for which founder Gus Zaharioudakis was known.
“He wanted to take the food that he remembered growing up on and spread it around to the people of Idaho,” said Matt Lord, Gyro Shack’s director of operations. “We didn’t have anything like that available to us at the time.”
Gyro Shack was acquired by Boise-based entrepreneurs Mark Urness and Matt Jeffries in 2000. They launched an aggressive franchising strategy.
“My bosses, the current owners, worked with him and bought him out when he wanted to semi retire,” Lord said. “Since then, we’ve tried our best to maintain his vision, which is serving affordable Greek food to the masses.”
Gyro Shack celebrated the grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 12. The brand donated 20% of all sales to the Wounded Warriors Project on May 11 and May 12.
The menu offers a variety of gyros and pita sandwiches, including the original with gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, tomato and onion. Lord called the deluxe the stereotypical gyro with gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, tomato and onion and topped with feta cheese. The super adds bacon, hummus, pepperoncini, kalamata olives and spicy sauce.
“It’s Chicago style,” he said. “We thin shave our meat and roast it fresh in the store. Then, we pile it up high on the pita. It’s all fresh cooked and thinly shaven.”
As for pita sandwiches, there are the chicken bacon ranch, spicy bacon avocado, Philly gyro and the “Z,” the latter of has gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, grilled onions, pepperoncini, feta and spicy sauce.
“The super gyro drags the European concept through the whole Greek concept,” Lord said. “That’s our big, fancy signature item.”
Lord said Gyro Shack doesn’t sacrifice taste for convenience. He was a fan before he started working for the company.
“I spent a lot of money going through their drive-thrus,” he said with a laugh. “I usually eat the deluxe or the Z, a gyro with grilled onions. It depends on if I want spicy or not.”
5775 E. Broadway Boulevard, Tucson