Exclusive: Mediterranean fast-casual Cava opens first Austin location next week

Capitalizing on the modern trend of healthy, fast-casual-style dining and the group’s success in states across the country, Cava will officially open in the Austin market on Tuesday.

Cava is a Washington D.C.-based Mediterranean fast-casual concept. (Contributed)

The location at 2426 Guadalupe St. (part of Urban Outfitters’ Space 24 Twenty) will be the first Texas location for the Washington D.C.-based brand and the first of four slated for Austin, with a West Lake Hills store at 3201 Bee Caves Road soon to follow. Cava already boasts 35 locations across the Mid-Atlantic, Tri-State area and California, with plans to expand to 50 locations by the end of summer.

Founded in 2011 as a modern, fast-casual version of their Mediterranean restaurant, the ownership group, which includes three friends who are all first-generation Greek-Americans, serves a variety of salad and grain bowls and pitas topped and filled with popular Mediterranean-inspired proteins and mezzes like lamb, falafel, hummus, feta, cucumber, mint, olives and more. The restaurant builds relationships with regional vendors and will source beef for its Austin store from 44 Farms in Cameron, TX.

Cava plans to open at 515 Congress Ave. later this summer and in the Domain next year.

“We think Austin has an amazing culinary scene that we can hopefully add to and a consumer that is interested in living a healthy lifestyle,” Cava CEO Brett Schulman said.

The location on The Drag will also serve Austin Beerworks and Thirsty Planet Brewing Company beers, making it the first Cava location to serve beer. Schulman says the location next to the University of Texas campus makes sense for the brand that has already found success with locations near American University, UCLA and others.

“Those have been great locations for us,” Schulman said. “It’s a great solution for college students with limited budgets trying to eat high quality, healthy food.”

Cava will introduce itself to the Austin market on Monday by giving away free lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. as part of its Community Day. During this time, CAVA will accept donations to benefit local non-profit partner Urban Roots, and will also donate the value of meals provided during their friends-and-family preview services to further support Urban Roots.

Cava on the Drag will operate daily from 10:45 a.m. to 10pm.


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