It all began in 1975. Peter Zakas and his late brother Spiros Zakas co-founded Zakaspace, one of the first design firms in the country to focus exclusively on restaurant design.
The firm’s inaugural project marked a significant milestone with the renovation of the Pump Room, an iconic Chicago restaurant located within the Ambassador East hotel. Frequented by celebrities making the transcontinental journey from New York to Los Angeles, the Pump Room became a symbol of Zakaspace’s early commitment to creating iconic spaces.
For four decades, Zakaspace maintained its position at the forefront of hospitality design, with over 2,000 restaurant installations to their credit. In 2012, the firm underwent a strategic rebranding, emerging as Z-Space Design, Inc.
Today, Z-Space Design is led by Peter Zakas, who continues to shape the company’s legacy alongside his son, PJ Zakas, NCIDQ, and Vice President Silvia Milic, LEED AP.
peter Zakas, president
Peter is the Co-Founder and President of Z-Space Design. He studied architecture and design at Southern Tech University before establishing Zakaspace in 1975.
Peter is committed to crafting enduring and timeless designs that not only captivate guests, but also prove to be exceptionally functional and profitable for his clients. Peter’s approach involves a “scientific, big picture vision,” involving meticulous research into demographics, menu direction, space planning, and traffic flow.
With a design legacy spanning nearly five decades and encompassing thousands of projects, Peter has left an indelible mark on the hospitality industry, enriching the lives of millions through the restaurants he’s designed.
silvia milic, LEED AP
Silvia Milic is the Vice President of Z-Space Design. Hailing from Bosnia and Herzegovina and fluent in four languages, Silvia holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Sarajevo. New to the United States, Silvia immersed herself in the intricacies of the design industry under the mentorship of Spiros Zakas.
Silvia’s responsibilities encompass design, project management, and procurement. Recognizing her consistent reliability and invaluable contributions, Peter Zakas officially appointed Silvia as a Partner in 2009.
Silvia has a remarkable ability to strike a balance between approachability and firmness, coupled with unwavering attention to detail while keeping sight of the bigger picture. She has played a pivotal role in the successful design of over 1,000 hospitality establishments spanning more than 30 states.
pJ zakas, NCIDQ
In the spring of 1999, Peter “PJ” Zakas Jr. embarked on his journey in the hospitality industry, starting with his first job scooping ice cream in a parlor designed by his father and late uncle.
In August 2009, PJ officially joined the family business at the Florida office, working closely with Spiros Zakas to learn the intricacies of restaurant design. Returning to Atlanta, PJ brought back a wealth of knowledge acquired under the mentorship of Spiros Zakas and Silvia Milic. He received a degree in Interior Design from Gwinnett Technical College and is NCIDQ-certified.
Today, PJ not only contributes to the success of Z-Space Design but also teaches at Gwinnett Technical College, imparting his expertise in commercial design through drafting and plan documentation in the Fundamentals of AutoCAD and furthering his impact on the next generation of design professionals.