CAVA, a Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant, will open its first two locations in the Oklahoma City metro area this March. First, a Quail Springs location will open March 23 with a Classen Curve location to follow March 26.
Talking with founder Ted Xenohristos, expanding in Oklahoma has been in CAVA’s plans for some time, but the migration to Oklahoma and surrounding states was accelerated by growth of the chain through the pandemic. CAVA acquired Zoë’s Kitchen in 2018, and the brand is leveraging Zoë’s existing footprint to open a total of nine CAVA locations in the state of Oklahoma by 2023.
“We’re super excited, Xenohristos said. “We do our big community day and have our partner there. We’ll be partnering with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.”
Each store will employ anywhere from 30-150 people, adding to the 8,000 employees the company already employs. The chain began in 2006 in the Maryland suburbs, inspired by Xenohristos’ mother who was a waitress when he was growing up.
“My mom didn’t have anyone to watch me so she dragged me to the restaurant,” he said.
After college, he said he wanted to start a restaurant that paid homage to both his parents, who were from Greece.
“I wanted to show people the food that was in Greece and how healthy and tasty it could be at the same time.”