College Park’s economic development coordinator said the Cava on Route 1 was supposed to open Tuesday. But a Cava spokesperson said Nov. 20 was “never confirmed” by the company.
Chelsea Grieco, a spokesperson for Cava, wrote in an email that the company is hoping to select a date in the next few days.
“We aren’t 100% confirmed on a date yet,” she wrote.
On Nov. 12, the Hyattsville Wire reported that the Mediterranean chain restaurant would open Nov. 20, but the story and tweet were later deleted.
While Ryan Chelton, College Park’s economic development coordinator, heard Nov. 20 would be the opening date from “other sources,” he never received confirmation from the company.
“I haven’t heard any response back from any of my Cava contacts proving otherwise, so that’s the word on the street that I’m hearing,” Chelton said.
The opening of the store, located in the old RadioShack retail space in the College Park Shopping Center, has been pushed back for months.
Initial reports and a flyer posted in April slated the opening of the restaurant for the summer, but in September, Cava CEO Brett Schulman pushed the opening to October and then to November because of preexisting issues with the space.
Many people took to Twitter to express frustration over the delay. One user had planned a company lunch at the location Tuesday. Another user said, “my dreams for the week are crushed” and compared the experience to “the lowest of lows.”
“It’s nothing that we’re not accustomed to,” said Sydney Poretsky, a senior communication and Spanish major.
Poretsky, who said she frequents the Cava in Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, said that students in College Park are used to having restaurant openings delayed.
“It’s a little disappointing to not have it open when they said it would be open,” she said.
Some of these delays, Chelton said, could be a result of staff training.
“I see when contractors come in to get permits, but usually the contractors don’t know how long it’s going to take to train staff or bring in the cashiers,” Chelton said.
Chelton added that he often gets “basic and general ideas” of opening dates from owners but rarely any follow up since “they’re always busy with other things.”
Samantha Delgado, a senior marketing and supply chain management major who tweeted at the restaurant, was upset when she learned of the delayed opening.
“I was originally pretty disappointed that the opening date was pushed back,” Delgado said. “But then again, they moved into the RadioShack space, which had none of the necessities for a restaurant, so I can see why it might be taking longer than usual.”
Cava has been offering an array of customizable salad bowls and pitas to customers nationwide. The company, which started in Rockville, Maryland, projects 75 U.S locations by the end of 2018, according to its website.
In College Park, the restaurant will offer a unique alternative to the pizza stores, Chipotle, sandwich shops and Subway nearby, said Derek Xiao, a senior computer science and finance major.
“They have nice, healthy options,” Xiao said. “I think the general consensus is that people in College Park are pretty excited for it.”