Cava, a fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant, will be opening a location in College Park this summer in the College Park Shopping Center, alongside Chipotle, Noodles & Company and Cold Stone Creamery.
The restaurant specializes in customizable salads, grain bowls and pitas. It has locations across the U.S., originating in the D.C. metro area.
There isn't much variety among the current restaurant choices in College Park, and Cava could help fix that, said sophomore Adam Hostetter, a finance and operations management and business analytics major.
"You have a lot of pizza places there and it's pretty oversaturated. You have some fast-casual, such as Subway and Chipotle, but you really don't have any more options other than that," Hostetter said.
Construction on the restaurant will be finished this summer before the start of next semester, said Jessica Marin, a manager at Cava's Rockville Pike location.
Cava will replace RadioShack in the shopping center, said Ben Famous, head of strategic communications and brand marketing for Cava.
"I've talked to my friends and said that the one thing College Park needs is to get a Cava … I think we've been waiting for this for a long time," said junior Alex Tran, a finance and information systems major.
Cava is also a relatively cheap option, and the portions sizes are big enough for two meals instead of one if students are trying to save money, Tran said.
"This is a good change up because it's nicer than going out to eat at, like, Panda Express, but it's not going to break the bank," Tran said.
Hostetter said that even though Cava is a little more expensive than some other fast-casual restaurants, at about $10 per meal, it is still worth the price.
"[Cava] is pretty comparable to Chipotle, so you'll probably pay just a tad more, but I think people are willing to pay that for the unique flavor combinations Cava has," Hostetter said.
District 3 Councilman John Rigg said he is pleased that Cava will be opening in his district.
"It definitely underscores the extent to which the city of College Park is really on the map for high-quality regional level and national level chains," Rigg said.