Thursday, March 2, 2023

[UPDATE] Once A Chain of Nearly 300, Zoes Kitchen Now Gone Entirely From Georgia

After more than a decade in business serving the local community, Zoes Kitchen closed its last remaining Atlanta area restaurant on Wednesday, March 1.  The restaurant, located just off the Emory University campus at 1385 Oxford Road, opened in 2013, but following Cava's 2018 acquisition of Zoes, will now, like so many other former Zoes, be converted into a Cava.  

While both Cava and Zoes focus on a Mediterranean menu, the two concepts are quite different with Cava focusing nearly exclusively on bowls and serving them in a Chipotle-like assembly line format.  

The Emory Village restaurant and another that also closed Wednesday in Peachtree City were the last two Zoes Kitchens operating in the state.  Both restaurants are expected to reopen in "about eight weeks" as Cava.  Two other already renovating former Zoes Kitchen restaurants in Duluth and Snellville are expected to also reopen soon as Cava restaurants.  

In Georgia, a market Cava first entered in 2021 when it started local Zoes conversions, the chain today operates 17 locations including its "Digital Kitchen" in Sandy Springs.  Overall, the company, which ahead of its Zoes acquisition only had about 60 locations, today has more than 300, and according to a report in February, is looking to go public.  

In addition to the two Georgia locations, other Zoes Kitchen restaurants in Greenville, North Carolina and Elmwood, Louisiana also closed Wednesday.  Another location at The Summit in Louisville, Kentucky was reportedly slated to close, but both the website and local employees suggest that it is now staying open, making it the lone surviving Zoes Kitchen under Cava ownership.  

The Cassimus family, Marcus and Zoe and their son John, reopened the original Zoes in the Birmingham community of Crestline February 15 and with it, brought back the original menu.  The restaurant - at 225 Country Club Park - is operated via a license granted to the family by Cava.  There are currently no plans for the Cassimus family to open any additional locations. 

Are you sad to see Zoes completely gone from Georgia?  What was your favorite Zoes menu item?  What do you think of Cava?

Please share your thoughts below.  

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peachtree City is considered “Atlanta Area,” no? Still open here! 🙌🏻

Anonymous said...

Zoe’s isn’t completely gone from GA nor the Atlanta area…Peachtree City is in the Atlanta area & it’s still open here! 🙌🏻

Anonymous said...

While Zoe’s was a bit expensive, I did like their food. I went to the East Cobb one every now and then.

Anonymous said...

I’m very sad and shocked to see Zoe’s leave Columbus Ga. The food was so amazing. It was a healthy food option restaurant for the community. It was a high quality food option restaurant for this community as well. I loved everything on the menu and you can’t get it anywhere else. I wish I could petition for Zoe’s to stay. I’m upset and disappointed that they closed.

Anonymous said...

I first enjoyed eating at Zoe's in Birmingham, AL when my son was in college there. I was delighted when a location opened near me in Peachtree City, GA. I also ate frequently at the one in Marietta, as well as several others.

Fresh, healthy, flavorful options. I loved the kabobs, the salmon, the hot potato salad, the roll-ups, plus being able to order fresh fruit or a salad of greens. Oh no! I just realized no more Chocolate Cake. It was outstanding! And the lemon cookies were good, too.

I will really miss Zoe's!!! I think maybe they expanded too quickly. Wishing the best to the Cassimus Family! Thank you for many years of wonderful food!

I've heard Cava is good. Same son lives in South Carolina now and eats there frequently. Wish we could have both!

Anonymous said...

In no rational world is Peachtree City in metro ATL.

Anonymous said...

I never got a chance to try Zoe’s but Cava is sooo delicious!!! Very happy that they are coming soon:)

Anonymous said...

Does the conversion to Cava mean no more Salmon Kabobs? I work across the street from the Emory Zoe?

Anonymous said...

I miss Zoe’s kitchen so much!!! No seafood options at Cava.

Anonymous said...

The store is closed.

Anonymous said...

Yes. That’s what it means unfortunately

Unknown said...

Zoe's went downhill the minute they removed the rice pilaf from the menu. the steak kabobs with grilled veggies and rice pilaf was my go-to. that tumeric rice they replaced it with was horrible.

Anonymous said...

Whether folks in Peachtree City want to be considered part of the Metro is debatable, but if you want to get technical, the epicenter of it (74/54 intersection) is 14 miles from I-285. Last time I checked, Alpharetta is also 14 miles from I-285, as is Kennesaw.

Anonymous said...

Cava Duluth opens Thursday March 9th. I got an email inviting me over for a free meal on that day only.

Sarah said...

Zoes is amazing :( How terribly sad! I’ve tried Cava as well; and it’s definitely not as good as Zoe’s; Cava has much less selection and it just doesn’t taste like Zoes. So sad to see one of my favorite restaurants go!

Anonymous said...

Susan, When I hear word metro, think of local, then I think if the Metro Bar that was on Peachtree near 13th. I do not think that a place in Metro Atlanta should be a 45 minute drive from the center if our city. Since it is, and there is nothing we can do about it, could you somehow get word to anyone, legal or illegal, to act with some respect when they travel inside if I-285, where the true Atlantans reside. They litter, play loud music, shoplift and many other things that are too vulgar to list. My main concern is their driving habits. I dud some checking, and come to find out, the Georgia Driving Handbook, that every driver is tested on, is the same fir all of Georgia. I question if tgey have actually read, and understood that it us not a book of suggestions, but a book if laws that we agree to follow, when we sign fir our drivers license. I am also concerned about to number of drivers that are continuing to hold their cell phones, while driving, worse, looking at the screen while stopped at a traffic light. When the light turns green, they feel finish typing whatever they are typing, before they move forward. Uf you honk the horn, they take even longer to go. People should he following the law. How many more lives have to be killed, before the politicians make stiffer punishments fir breaking the law. Lastly, please tell them to act as though they have been to town before. I have lived in Atlanta since 1984 and have lived in midtown for 35 of those years. This us the worst that i have ever seen our city abused.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Cava is horrible honestly nothing like the authentic flavors of Zoe!

Anonymous said...

Well, you can visit again because it has been reopened by Marcus and Zoe! Here’s the address 225 Country Clb Pk, Birmingham, AL 35213

Anonymous said...

Not any longer.

Anonymous said...

This is heartbreaking. I love Zoes. I used to take food from their to cancer patients. I hope food fron Cava is just as good or better. If not....#BringBackZoes

Anonymous said...

Liked Zoe’s Greek dressing that you could purchase. Can you buy it anywhere?

Anonymous said...

That was my favorite too

Anonymous said...

So sad to see it go, grilled chicken pita and salad, beef and chicken kabobs, the food was so healthy and light and I lost weight easily, with Cava not the same and I don’t achieve the same weight loss results, I went to Zoe’s at least once a week. Dunwoody, Roswell, peach tree, Cobb , sad

Anonymous said...

Cava clearly acquired Zoe’s in a vulnerable financial state back in 2018 and it was a predetermined real estate grab to shut down Zoe’s and easily expand Cava, with only a 6 to 8 week remodel needed.

Management at Cava are so inept they never introduced kebabs to the Cava menu, which was a Zoe’s signature item. Also, Cava is weak on beef protein options and failed to realize how important and profitable catering is. They do not do store specific catering and only use a centralized location in Sandy Springs for the entire metro Atlanta area. And they don’t do it very well using mostly trashy, low skilled Door Dash drivers to do large corp catering orders.

Management calculated the target consumer was to be the 18 to 30 age crowd millennials and gen Zers who were into the Chipotle assembly line construction of food why you watch instant gratification culture, rather than the legacy Zoe’s process of ordering and having your meal prepared and ready in about 6 minutes.

My perspective after working at Zoe’s for about 8 years. Sad to see the Cava demolition job.

Anonymous said...

I’m upset about this. I frequented Zoe’s for lunch multiple times a month at either of the 3 locations here in Baton Rouge. Great healthy food and always consistent! Just left Cava and sorry, but it is NOT the same. Not even close. The steak kabobs were 5 star restaurant quality! I rather Chipotle when I’m wanting a healthy bowl option. At least they offer steak/beef.

Anonymous said...

SO distraught that Zoe’s closed. I always stopped in for a bottle of their Greek dressing. Such a loss.

Anonymous said...

Cava sucks, zoes was amazing ate it weekly! More if I could afford it.. fantastic food, tons of options. Cava. Trash. Down with cava!

Anonymous said...

Zoe's was a great go-to for good healthy food. Loved their Greek salad, lentil soup, and roll-ups.

I don't see anything I like at Cava. I would bet their same store sales are down significantly after switching Zoe's to Cava. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Closed!!

Anonymous said...

Yaaay. I enjoyed their always fresh salad items!

Anonymous said...

Is this truly reopened? I wish they’d reopen in KS. I lived for their kabob & ate it probably 1X per wk. Pls reopen somewhere in KC or surrounding area.

Anonymous said...

Agree. Weekly! Got my best friend hooked on it as well. When they were supposed to reopen we were ecstatic. I don’t like CAVA at all.

Anonymous said...

Zoe’s Kitchen was amazing. I will miss Ya Ya’s Chocolate cake, the Lemon cookies, and the steak stack, but Cava is delicious too. No comparison. It’s just the end of an era. That’s the restaurant business. I still mourn Bennigens and Steak n Ale, but we move on.

Ashley Bailey Designs said...

I am so sad!!! I loved Zoes!! But I'm excited to see what they bring to replace it. Put Augusta first on your list. There is not a good Greek option here at all!

Anonymous said...

I loved Zoe’s kitchen . The plate with grilled chicken and the lemon salad dressing was my favorite & I could always eat two or three times from it & id add grilled bell peppers instead of the onions. I moved out the country for four years & to come back learning that they are gone is really upsetting. It was my favorite restaurant beside eating hot wingssss & hamburgers from Red Robin or my own kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I went to a Cava that was a converted Zoe’s location. It was HORRIBLE and didn’t even come close to the quality of Zoe’s. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Agree completely! Zoe’s was my favorite restaurant. Ate there twice a week sometimes. Food was fresh and delicious. Cava doesn’t even come close. Everything at Cava tastes the same.

Anonymous said...

I''m so disappointed in the closure of Zoe's. I've eaten there for years! The Greek Salad with potato salad is my absolute favorite, topped with shrimp. So many of my friends drove 20 miles to enjoy the last location. Please bring it back!

N4JJDX said...

Very sad indeed! Agree with the comments about the poor contrast with Cava. Maybe the contractual provisions that the founding family had to sign in the sale to Cava will allow them to essentially re-open or create a similar restaurant concept after a certain number of years. I'm holding on to my nearly indestructible Zoe's large iced tea cups for as long as I can!

Pleasebringzoesback said...

I love Zoe’s and all the good delicious options like the grilled salmon we love the pita, and James Cobb is not nearly the same. Nothing compares. Please bring Zoe‘s back.

Annie Sandman said...

LOVED Zoe's! Miss it so much. Went there every week. Cava just isn't good to me. I realize it's a different concept. Just not interested in bowls. Love Zoe's roll ups. And had their chicken soup every week. So miss it. Hope they will bring one back to Houston. And the Woodlands.

Ann & Bob of Houston

Anonymous said...

I agree. I LOVED ZOE’s & ate in Greenville & Orlando restaurants every chance I got. Sad no longer -my favorite was their delicious steak!

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