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Pass the Pita: Cava Makes Harvard Square Debut

Cava, a Mediterranean-themed chain restaurant, opened a location at 22 Brattle St. on Friday.
Cava, a Mediterranean-themed chain restaurant, opened a location at 22 Brattle St. on Friday. By Paton D. Roberts
By Paton D. Roberts, Crimson Staff Writer

Cava opened its newest location Friday morning on Brattle Street, bringing a Mediterranean-themed fast-casual option to Harvard Square.

Prior to the grand opening, Cava held a fundraiser in partnership with Project Bread, a food assistance nonprofit based in Massachusetts. Their Thursday event — which sold out on Eventbrite — allowed attendees to receive a free meal of their choice, and encouraged donations for Project Bread. Cava matched donations up to $1,000.

Cava’s “Community Day” is a companywide opening tradition that has raised more than $350,000 in the past four years. The donations often focus on ensuring food security in the surrounding communities.

Christian Starkes, Cava’s Northeast Regional Leader, wrote in a statement that the company “couldn’t be more excited” about the new Harvard Square location and stressed Cava’s ethos of generosity.

“Our mission is to bring heart, health, and humanity to food, and everything we do at CAVA is grounded in that spirit of generosity, to our guests, our team members, and our community,” he wrote.

Both Cambridge residents and tourists expressed excitement about the new location.

Shubhanshi N. Gaudani said while she hasn’t tried the food at Cava yet, she appreciated the ambience of the restaurant and the variety of food available.

“The building looks cool because of the glass windows,” she said. “So I was like, ‘Oh, that’s cute, a lot of sunlight,’ and it’s a nice color palette in terms of food, so, yeah, I like the options too.”

Kendall B. Clark, who was visiting from Chicago along with Gaudani, echoed her sentiments about the building’s decor, and added that she was happy with Cava’s vegetarian options.

“Like Shubhansi said, it’s really cute in here, very aesthetically pleasing. And I like the food, generally — we’re both vegetarian so I was like, okay, yeah, this is a good place that’s gonna have options for us.”

Cameron Seamans said Cava is a good option for after the gym, when he might want “something quick.”

Cambridge resident Angelina Z. Wang said she used to visit a Cava location near Boston University when she was a student there and was happy to have a new location in the area.

“I used to go when I was in school, but there aren't any Cavas around here really except for this one, so it’s nice to have something.”

According to a press release, the opening is one of more than 60 planned for 2023. The Harvard Square Cava joins nine other Massachusetts locations.

—Staff writer Paton D. Roberts can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @paton_dr.

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