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Emerging Brands

Daphne’s Mediterranean shutters all 11 of its Texas units

The fast-casual chain, formerly known as Noon Mediterranean, filed for bankruptcy last year and was bought by Elite Restaurant Group.
Noon Mediterranean logo

Daphne’s Mediterranean, a fast-casual Greek concept bought out of bankruptcy last year by Elite Restaurant Group, has closed all 11 of its Texas locations just months after opening many of them.

The restaurants' performance was "not up to our expectations," said David Eldredge, director of marketing for Daphne’s owner Elite Restaurant Group, in a statement to Restaurant Business.

"While we are very proud of our ability to offer customers in Texas a fun, fresh, and delicious Mediterranean dining experience, we decided that the sales performance of these locations, which were operated by Noon Enterprise LTD, were not up to our expectations,” Eldredge said. “As a result, we decided to close these locations, but are actively pursuing options to grow our business in Texas with Daphne's national development plans in the near future.” 

The saga of Daphne’s is a complicated one. The chain began its life in 2011 in Austin, Texas, under the name VertsKebap. It later changed its name to Verts Mediterranean Grill.

In 2017, it rebranded to Noon Mediterranean and secured a $20 million private investment. The chain made Restaurant Business’ Future 50 list of up-and-coming emerging brands, and CNBC hailed it as one of 10 hot restaurant concepts to watch.

By August of 2018, it had filed for bankruptcy protection, citing insurmountable debt, closing a number of units and laying off nearly 90 employees.  

Elite Restaurant Group, the Los Angeles-based parent company of Daphne’s Inc., Slater’s 50/50 and Patxi’s Pizza, which is headed by Michael Nakhleh, agreed to purchase the struggling 12-unit chain for less than $800,000.

Nakhleh’s team morphed the existing Noon units into “hybrid” locations with menu items from both Noon and Daphne’s.

Daphne’s currently has 21 locations in California.

Nakhleh told RB last year that he enjoys the challenge of purchasing struggling restaurant concepts.

“Anyone can buy something that is doing very well and just enjoy the ride,” he said. “To me, that is boring.”

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