Sunday, August 6, 2023

[UPDATE] Billion Dollar Restaurant Brands Preparing for Emory Village Debut

Emory Village will soon welcome two of the biggest names in trendy fast casual dining.  Premium salad shop Sweetgreen and Mediterranean eatery Cava are both getting close to their debuts in the area, just as neighboring Emory University prepares to welcome students back to school for the start of fall semester on August 23.  

Both restaurants also replace earlier restaurant occupants, both of which were beloved by the local community, with Cava supplanting Zoes Kitchen (1385 Oxford Road) and Sweetgreen replacing Dragon Bowl/Doc Chey's (1556 North Decatur Road).  

News came this week that Cava will open their new restaurant Monday August 7.  The opening marks the final former Atlanta area Zoes to be converted to Cava.  The Emory Village restaurant marks the twenty third location in Georgia for the Washington D.C.-based chain.  Cava currently operates twenty-one standard restaurants around the state as well as one "Digital Kitchen," designed for ordering ahead, in Sandy Springs.  

Cava's 2018 purchase of Zoes Kitchen and subsequent conversion/closure of many of their locations has left the Birmingham born business with just two locations nationwide - one in Birmingham operated by Zoes Kitchen founders Zoe and Marcus and their son John Cassimus, and another in Louisville owned and operated by former Zoes Kitchen COO Trey Hornsby.

Atlanta's first "ground up" Cava is slated to open next year at the new Publix-anchored Summerhill Station near the former Turner Field in Summerhill.  

For its part, Sweetgreen plans to open "soon," but it has not revealed an exact opening.  The new Sweetgreen will be the sixth in metro Atlanta for the Los Angeles-based chain, joining existing outposts at Lenox Square in Buckhead, Star Metals in West Midtown, Ponce City Market in Old Fourth Ward, Colony Square in Midtown, and Ashford Lane in Dunwoody.  

Cava and Sweetgreen are the latest national chains to open in Emory Village, which years ago was filled with local shops and restaurants.  Recent years have brought Chipotle, Jimmy John's, Buffalo Wild Wings Go and even Chase Bank to Emory Village, while local favorites like Doc Chey's, Rise-N-Dine, Everybody's Pizza and Jagger's Pizza have shuttered.  

Sweetgreen (NYSE: SG) went public November 2021 while Cava (NYSE: CAVA) made its public debut this past June.  Sweetgreen currently has a market capitalization of $1.65 billion while Cava's market cap is $6.07 billion.   

Both companies are riding the wave of the public's increased appetite for foods that are perceived as healthier.  That said, both companies have set lofty growth projections that will be challenging to meet, let alone exceed.  Not everyone is or can be "the next Chipotle."  

Sweetgreen debuted at $28 and shot up to $53 per share when IPO'd in late 2021 but fell as low as six bucks this past March.  As of August 4, the stock had recovered some and was trading at nearly $15.  Cava went public this past June at $22, closed its first day of trading at nearly $44 and as of August 4 was trading at $53.44.  

Are you excited for the openings of Cava and Sweetgreen in Emory Village?  What was your favorite former Emory Village eatery?  What type of restaurant would you like to see open in Emory Village?  

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Grew up eating at Everybody's Pizza. While the service was almost always slow, the pizza was always good.

Anonymous said...

It absolutely was not always good. That is why it closed. It was fine in its heyday, but it definitely fell off in its last 5-10 years.

Anonymous said...

Yes it was. Always.

Anonymous said...

I guess there’s no accounting for bad taste. I guess Fellini’s must be the best ever because it has stayed open.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with accounting.

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