Cambridge will welcome a new source for Arabic and Middle Eastern cuisine in just a few weeks, as the team behind a small group of fast-casual restaurants in Boston prepares to expand across the river to Inman Square. Pita Cambridge is on track to open within the first two weeks of February, according to owner Mohamad El Zein.
El Zein and partner Radouan Ouassaidi are no strangers to the Cambridge neighborhood: They also run Moona (243 Hampshire St.), a full-service Mediterranean restaurant located around the corner from where Pita will open at 11 Springfield St. The duo took over the former Olecito space last summer, nearly a year after first opening Moona.
“We really love Inman Square,” El Zein told Eater, saying it was a no-brainer to open Pita in the same area. “We felt with the right rent structure and location and vicinity to where Moona is, it would be a great thing for us to do over there.”
As Olecito, the Springfield Street space had a few counter seats, a small refrigerator, and an open kitchen. Pita has taken over the back space in the building and opened up the front area a bit more to allow for six to seven seats. In seasonal months, Pita will have 20 to 30 patio seats open adjacent to the restaurant.
El Zein estimates that about 60 percent of Pita’s business will be takeout and delivery. Customers will be able to place orders through the restaurant’s website, and Pita will offer its own direct delivery along with third-party delivery through services like Caviar and Uber Eats.
Just like its Boston siblings, Pita Cambridge will feature shawarma and falafel wraps, along with mana’eesh flatbreads, kebabs, and mezze items like muhammara, harissa hummus, and labneh. There will also be rotating daily specials, like chicken tagine served with a side of couscous, available in a to-go box.
“All of a sudden you’re sitting in your office having the flavors of Morocco in a little box,” El Zein said.
The restaurant will also have a retail fridge stocked with prepared foods available to go. With breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, Pita will operate from 8 or 9 a.m. to about 1 a.m.; hours will be solidified ahead of opening.
At this point, the final steps toward opening include tiling the kitchen, receiving equipment deliveries and setting it all up, cleaning, stocking, training, and getting inspected. Hiring has already taken place, and Pita should be ready to go in early February. Stay tuned for an exact opening date.