After a minor delay, Cava is officially scheduled to open in Clarendon on Saturday at 5 p.m. The menu is largely the same, but this third outpost of the Cava Mezze empire aims to be different in feel from its Rockville and Capitol Hill locations — to separate it from the chains. And, according to owner Ted Xenohristos, this just may be the last Cava as the restaurant group turns its focus to its fast-casual eateries and forthcoming Italian concept.
Clarendon is the largest of the Cava locations with the rough-around-the-edges design concept that's so hot right now: sealed original concrete floors, open ceilings, brick walls and high-walled booths made from reclaimed pine wood that retains some of the notches from its days as a Virginia barn. The central dining area of the 120-seat establishment is made up of these booths, whose wall height was designed with the hopes of providing privacy without making diners feel like they're trapped in a box. The restaurant's walls are also adorned with family pictures from Greece and two large murals — one which depicts a couple drinking on a Greek island (inspired by Mykonos) and another of three old Greek men sitting at a table with direction signs for Rockville, Capitol Hill and Clarendon behind them. A quiet courtyard behind the restaurant will eventually host outdoor seating around a fountain.
Xenohristos says the menu in Clarendon will be "90 percent" the same as the other Cava locations, meaning more of the Greek small plates that have made it a popular neighborhood joint elsewhere. A draft beer list includes Hoegaarden, Guinness, Flying Dog Raging Bitch and a beer called Faceplant IPA from Ashburn, Virginia's brand new craft brewery, Lost Rhino. Greece's Mythos will be available in bottle form. Cava is also stocking 55-60 kinds of wine, a quarter of which hail from Greece. All of the Greek wines will be available by the glass.
Cava's Clarendon location opens to the public on Saturday at 5 p.m. and will be open for dinner its first week, followed by lunch service and then, eventually, Saturday and Sunday brunch.
· Cava Mezze [Official Site]
· All Previous Cava Coverage [-EDC-]