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Cava’s New Innovation Kitchen Opens Today With Honey Harissa Chicken

Plus, D.C. United’s future may hinge on a coffee shop

PHOTO: Food cover on Fast Casual Restaurants- 8/15
A bowl at Cava
Photo by Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Cava gets creative

The future of popular Mediterranean build-your-own bowl chain may begin with its shop in Dupont. The location at 1222 Connecticut Ave. is now re-branded as Cava’s “Innovation Kitchen,” according to the Washington City Paper. This is where the company will try out new menu items like honey harissa chicken, vegan garlic sauce and crispy chickpeas (all are on the menu starting today).

Forbes reports that digital menus will also display the queue of orders and menu items. “I want to take what we learn from the Innovation Kitchen and apply it to every part of our business, from our [branded dips and spreads] to our Zoës locations and sit-down restaurants,” Cava CEO Brett Schulman told Forbes. “We’re excited to see what our customers think.”

D.C. United may add a new coffee shop

Soccer star Mesut Özil may replace Wayne Rooney on D.C. United’s team, Bisnow reports, and he also seems to be interested in bringing his coffee chain 39 Steps coffee to the D.C. soccer stadium. D.C. United is expected to meet with Özil to discuss both prospects. 39 Steps Coffee currently boasts three locations in the United Kingdom.

Chefs off duty

Peking Gourmet Inn, Bresca, and Springfield’s 9 Pad Thai: those are a few of the restaurants D.C. chefs hit up when they’re not on the clock. The Washington Business Journal interviewed restaurateurs and chefs to find out their local favorite spots.

Get ready for Persian cuisine in Dupont

The owners of Georgetown favorite Peacock Cafe are getting closer to opening Vintage78, a Dupont restaurant focusing on Persian cuisine. PoPville posted photos of the nearing-completion restaurant.

Dunkin’ goes vegan

A student at Johns Hopkins University convinced the Dunkin’ chain to add a vegan sausage to the menu, WBJ reports. Lana Weidgenant’s petition inspired Dunkin’s CMO to add a Beyond Meat “Beyond Sausage” in Manhattan.