February 28, 2024

Cava plans its Illinois debut with a Wicker Park spot

Cava, a popular Mediterranean fast-casual chain with nearly 300 locations nationwide, is set to open a Chicago restaurant this spring.

Maryland-based Cava, known for its customizable bowls, pitas and salads, plans to open at 1484 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park in late April or early May, a company spokeswoman confirms. The new restaurant will be the company’s first location in Illinois.

The Wicker Park restaurant will be in the 3,100-square-foot space previously occupied by Native Foods, which is now closed. Cava signed a 15-year lease for the property, according to Chicago brokerage Greenstone Partners.

Opening in Chicago is part of an ambitious expansion effort for Cava. The company, which went public in 2023, has its eyes on operating 1,000 locations nationwide by 2032. Cava has specifically pointed to the Midwest as an untapped space for that expansion.