Mediterranean food hasn’t always been the easiest thing to find in Austin, but that’s about to change. Washington, D.C.-based chain Cava is making a major push in Austin with the opening of four new locations over the next year.
According to a release, the first of the planned outposts will debut June 25 in Urban Outfitter’s Space 24 Twenty compound at 2426 Guadalupe St., in the former location of Mellow Mushroom. Later this summer, two more Cava restaurants will pop up in Austin — one in Westlake and another at Sixth Street and Congress Avenue downtown. In 2019, yet another will debut in The Domain.
Founded in 2011 by longtime friends Ted Xenohristos, Ike Grigoropoulos, and executive chef Dimitri Moshovitis, the chain quickly expanded throughout the East Coast and California. The four Austin locations will be the group's first eateries in Texas.
Similarly to homegrown chain Noon Mediterranean (formerly Vert’s), Cava allows guests to build their own entrees starting with bases such as pitas, rice or lentils, or salad greens. Customers can then customize their creations with spreads like hummus, harissa, jalapeño-infused feta mousse, or tzatziki; proteins like chicken, meatballs, lamb, falafel, or roasted seasonal vegetables; and a variety of toppings ranging from cauliflower quinoa tabbouleh to white bean salad.
Although based in the D.C. area, each location works with the local food community to offer the freshest possible produce. Ingredients like roasted grape tomatoes, sweet potatoes, button mushrooms, and green bell peppers are all sourced from area farms.
The local ethos aren’t just confined to the food. The Drag location, Cava's first location to serve beer, will offer drafts from Austin Beerworks and Thirsty Goat. And go-to artist Will Bryant was enlisted to create a mural for the space's colorful patio.
During the opening day celebration, Cava will also be giving back to the Austin community. Between 11 am-1 pm and 5-7 pm, the restaurant will be offering lunch and dinner free of charge to encourage patrons to donate to Austin nonprofit Urban Roots. To make the deal even sweeter, Cava will be donating the value of the meals to the organization. Full hours for the restaurant begin June 26.