The lunch rush in Midtown is back.
On a sweltering summer’s day in midtown Manhattan, where nobody supposedly works anymore, a trendy crowd lined the sidewalk in front of Cava’s Mediterranean fast food restaurant.
The Greek-inspired chain’s Broadway and 38th Street location was jokingly hailed as “the toughest club to get into in the whole of Manhattan,” in a now ubiquitous TikTok ad posted by a Big Apple influencer. Tweet embed.
Remember the epidemic? Remember when Midtown restaurants were in full swing? Say that to the modern lunch attendants who wait up to 90 minutes in a stand outside the door for them Lemon chicken dishes.
“I stood in line for an hour and a half to get food here. Kathleen Meszkiewicz, 25, told The Post, sweating in the bright sun.
Cava was first launched in 2010 in Rockville, MarylandThe brand is now popular in the Washington, D.C. area. Lately, however, newly opened branches in Manhattan have become something of Chipotle’s post-pandemic answer, or their various $20 chopped salad joints.
In the TikTok clip, which has garnered more than 1.1 million views, a crowd of sustenance seekers are seen sacrificing their hour-long lunch breaks while waiting to receive $13 of veggies, protein, and a grain blend.
DIY Cava dishes are so popular, with options like falafel, spicy lamb meatballs, and grilled vegetables, as well as an array of delicious dips, that those hoping to grab lunch from the non-fast food chain often try to beat the pre-order rush. Via the Cava app or website. Miszkiewicz, who was ordered to proceed with her colleagues, found these efforts thwarted.
“We pre-ordered our food [online] 11:30 a.m. for 12 p.m. pickup is now 12:30, and we still have to wait,” the business consultant said. “It’s annoying, but the food is worth it.”
The baffling popularity of a restaurant makes a strong case for a restaurant Lunch hour power back in townwhich experienced sharp declines in 2020 and 2021 while most of the workforce was working (and eating) at home.
But Broadway Cava’s general manager, Yasmere Mercedes, said her store has seen a sponsorship boom since it became more jobbers. Required to return to their officesseveral on a mixed schedule, earlier this year.
“It’s really great to see how the business has grown since the pandemic,” the 21-year-old Mercedes told The Post as customers rushed through the door. “We’re actually making more money now than we did before the pandemic.”
Other locations, such as Cava at 42nd Street near Bryant Park and the one on Madison Avenue at 40th Street, drive crowds of midday patrons as well.
As children from the age of nine to five continue to adjust to their actual working lives, many use every minute of their lives afternoon vacation To eat, drink and maybe even make a love affair.
“I wish,” Emily Seitz and Jill Folger, both 26, said when asked if they had ever flirted with a fellow company hottie on their nightclub-like kava line.
Best of business friends, who pre-ordered their orders, waited 15 minutes as part of the pick-up crowd.
However, most of them seem content to just get in and score some points good evening no.
“The line is always too long,” Manny, 35, who works in construction and asked that her last name not be published, told The Post. In the past, she’d wait over 45 minutes for her usual bowl of habanero chicken, only having 15 minutes left to feed.
In such cases, Manny said with a laugh, “I’m back in my office and eating fast food.”
Similarly, software professional David Carmichael, 29, told The Post that he usually doesn’t mind letting the minutes tick while he waits for a bowl of falafel and feta.
But even it has its limits. “Whenever I see the queue outside the door, I walk away,” he said.
Such was the case for Lauren Vass, 33, and her co-workers, who took one look at their extensive kava line and immediately opted to eat elsewhere.
“It’s a long time, and we have to go back [to work]Fez groaned, working as a wholesaler for the women living downtown.
Others were similarly deterred by the Cava mobs.
“I’m not someone in line,” said Megan Neville, 37, who stopped by with fellow model Margaret Derby, 30.
“It’s good food,” Derby said. But TikTok nightclub [aspect] not mine. “
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