Our eyes got pretty wide when we found out that Cava Grill, the fast-casual chain of Mediterranean restaurants based in the Washington area, had pulled in $16 million in venture capital funding this spring. They almost fell out today when the company announced it has raised another $45 million to continue its cross-country expansion and beef up its operations.

From left, Cava executives Brett Schulman, Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos. (Jeffrey MacMillan/The Washington Post)

[Local chain Cava Grill is going national with plans to dip into Los Angeles and Chicago]

The news comes just as Cava, founded by childhood friends Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos in 2006, is preparing to open the first of two planned restaurants in the Los Angeles area.

Locally, the chain, which also sells a line of packaged dips and spreads at Whole Foods Markets nationwide, recently debuted a location in Terminal B at Reagan National Airport. A Dupont Circle shop is also in the works for next spring, which will bring its local count up to 13.

In a press release, chief executive Brett Schulman said the latest investment will go toward a variety of initiatives in addition to the West Coast expansion, including internal and external technology, employee benefits and a new production facility for the grocery store products.

The newest infusion of cash was led by global investment firm Invus. Also contributing: Leesburg-based SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, which led the spring round of funding, and Revolution Growth, which has offices in Washington and San Francisco.

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