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In the summer of 2006, long-time friends Ike Grigoropoulos and Ted Xenohristos, along with chef Dimitri Moshovitis came up with the idea for CAVA over coffee. As 3 children of Greek immigrants they wondered to themselves why no one had opened a Greek restaurant that reminded them of the mezze/tapas style dining in Greece.

One day a friend had told them of a bakery that was for sale. They visited the location which was a strip center gone bad. Most of the tenants in the center were going out of business and the parking lots were empty as could be. They wondered if they could ever succeed there, or if anyone could ever succeed there…

From friends to family members, one by one, they were told to stay away from the center, but they knew no one would give them an opportunity anywhere else. With very little money, maxed out credit cards and borrowing from friends and family a partnership was formed.

Within days of purchasing the business, construction was started. With the help of family they completely renovated the spot, from smashing tiles and hauling trash to hand carving the bar and even building the tables themselves. Chef Dimitri was hard at work creating a Greek Inspired menu that would serve the freshest local ingredients with some of the best imports Greece had to offer.

After 4 months that included running out of money during construction, the restaurant finally opened in the fall of 2006. A year later with the help of word of mouth they made Washingtonian’s Top 100 Restaurants, and the rest is history. There are now 3 Cava locations, and a fast casual spin off called Cava Grill. The trio also sells their all natural spreads in food markets up and down the east coast.