Cava Mezze Grill is heading west.
The local chain that got its start as a full-service Greek restaurant in Rockville and is owned by former wait staff at Bethesda’s Olazzo and the now-closed Tel Aviv Café raised $16 million in funding to expand its fast-casual concept to Los Angeles, according to The Washington Post.
A full announcement from Cava is expected later today, but stories about the expansion ran in the Washington Business Journal, Washingtonian and the Post this morning.
The funding comes from Virginia’s SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, according to the reports.
Owners Ted Xenohristos, Ike Grigoropoulos and Dmitiri Moshovitis opened their first restaurant, Cava Mezze, in Rockville in 2005. The owners grew up in Montgomery County and are the children of Greek immigrants.
Since launching the full-service restaurant, the owners expanded to include the fast-casual Cava Mezze Grill, which opened its first location on Bethesda Row in 2011. Since then, the business has opened 11 of the fast-casual restaurants in the Washington, D.C.-area and launched a line of spreads such as hummus and tzatziki, which are sold at Whole Foods Market and Safeway stores.
The company also plans to find a production kitchen for its spreads on the West Coast so it can begin selling them there, according to local reports.
Read more about the owners: “The Greek Squad – How thinking small paid off big time for three boyhood friends”.