Cava Grill taking over former Zoes Kitchen space in Willow Lawn

Zoes Kitchen closed last week in Willow Lawn. (Mike Platania photo)

It’s out with one restaurant chain and in with another at a Willow Lawn storefront.

Cava Grill is preparing to open in the former Zoes Kitchen space at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive.

Zoes closed last week after more than six years in the space and work has already begun to convert it into a Cava.

The changeover follows a 2018 deal in which the two restaurant brands came under the same ownership after Cava Group, Cava’s parent company, purchased Zoes Kitchen for $300 million, according to national reports. Since then, some Zoes Kitchen locations have been converted into Cava Grills throughout the country.  

The Willow Lawn site was the last remaining Zoes location in the region. Its other spots in Short Pump and Midlothian closed at some point this year.

Willow Lawn will be Cava’s fifth store in the Richmond region, joining outposts in Short Pump, VCU and two in Midlothian. It’s unclear when Cava is aiming to open the new spot. Cava and Willow Lawn representatives were not available for comment by press time.

Willow Lawn has seen a bit of churn among restaurants in the last year.

Pie Five Pizza Co., Duck Donuts and Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar closed at Willow Lawn.

This year it welcomed new tenants in Vietnamese restaurant Pho 95 Hai Ky Mi Gia and pizza joint &pizza. IHOP is also preparing to open in the former SaltBox Oyster Co. building.

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Brian Ezzelle
Brian Ezzelle
10 days ago

Please keep the chocolate chip cookies!

sam nelson
sam nelson
10 days ago

The resiliency of The Shops at Willow Lawn is impressive for a retail center. It was the 1st shopping center in Richmond (VA Business Magazine), opening in 1956. Its anchors included by-gone names of People’s Drug, GC Murphy, & Woolworth. The on-going revitalization of the entire Willow Lawn area is exciting. Kudos to Jenn Davidson and the team of Federal Realty.

Michael Dodson
Michael Dodson
8 days ago
Reply to  sam nelson

Cary Street Park and Shop is the first shopping center in Richmond (in fact first in the South per DHR/federal application). 1939 is little before 1956. If fact both expansions of Cary Street were completed before dirt was turned on Willow Lawn. But Federal Realty has continued to amaze everyone and kept the center fresh and ever evolving!

Fred Squire
Fred Squire
10 days ago

Nothing says moving high end like an oyster joint becoming an IHOP Sooner or later folks need to admit Richmond has far surpassed its saturation point for dining. Especially fast casual and places chasing a fad. Besides those, how many BBQ places did Richmond really have room for? I think there are a lot of owners who had good intentions, opening in what was a market that would have supported a place selling wet dog food as gourmet fare. But folks need to stop blaming COVID solely and start admitting Richmond had too many places to eat. Far more than… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Fred Squire