Washington, D.C.-based Mediterranean eatery expands into Austin

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A Washington, D.C.-based fast-casual Mediterranean eatery is expanding into Austin in 2018.

The founders of sit-down restaurant Cava Mezze Grill are planning to open three locations of the fast-casual version of the restaurant called Cava.

“The idea is that you can come in and have a healthful meal and not have to make any sacrifices doing it,” Cava CEO Brett Schulman said.

The first Cava location will open this spring on The Drag at 2426 Guadalupe St., Austin, near The University of Texas at Austin.

Two more locations will open in 2018 in downtown Austin at 515 Congress Ave., Austin, and in Westlake at 3201 Bee Caves Road, Austin. Schulman said the owners are also exploring more locations in Austin beyond 2018.

Cava allows diners to create their own meals starting with a base of greens or grains and meats, falafel, veggies, toppings and dressings. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options are also available.

Schulman said the owners chose Austin for the first city in Texas because the city has a similar food scene to D.C.

“It’s a growing, educated and diverse community and has a great culinary scene that we hope to add to and be a part of,” he said.

Employees also aim to contribute to the community by offering wages starting at $13 an hour with paid sick and parental leave as well as paid community leave to allow employees to give back to the community.

Cava also will use ingredients from local producers and farmers and plans to work with Urban Roots, a nonprofit that engages youth leaders to be more civically engaged through food and meaningful work, Schulman said.

For more information, visit www.cava.com.

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Amy Denney
Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area. As senior editor, she is the point person for the company's partnership with Fox7 Austin.
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