Cava planning standalone restaurant near LSU

Cava, a fast-casual brand specializing in Mediterranean rice bowls, salads, pitas and hummus, is ready to begin building its first stand-alone restaurant in the Baton Rouge area, south of the LSU campus.

The company will construct a 2,900-square-foot building with a drive-thru on the corner of Highland Road and Lee Drive, replacing the dilapidated gas station that has been an eyesore at the intersection since it closed several years ago. The restaurant is expected to open this summer.

Ransom Pipes, a commercial sales and leasing executive at Maestri Murrell Real Estate who represented the property owners, says the project has received the necessary permits and work can get started as early as next week.

Cava purchased the Zoës Kitchen franchise for $300 million in 2018. In November, the new ownership group closed Baton Rouge’s three existing Zoës locations and began converting them into the new brand, as reported in a previous Daily Report.

Circle K Stores Inc., the former owner and operator of the gas station, sold the property for $1.2 million to Michael DiVincenti Jr.’s 5295 Highland LLC in March, according to documents with the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s office.

This story originally appeared in Jan. 19 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.