Slowly trickling into Tucson with its fresh, Mediterranean food, owner Dan Chavis recently opened his second Greek restaurant, Pita Jungle, on the southeast corner of West Ina Road and North Oracle Road.
Three college students, who gave up pursuing careers in engineering and broadcasting to venture into the food industry, founded the restaurant in 1994. The goal of the restaurant is aimed at creating an atmosphere where people can enjoy healthy food while having fun – an idea that has led to the opening of 20 Pita Jungle’s in Arizona and California.
“There’s nothing quite like the culture of Pita Jungle,” said Chavis. “It’s pretty laid-back and it’s got a pretty cool vibe.”
Chavis’ experience in the food industry began more than 25 years ago – at the time being the owner of five McDonald’s restaurants in Tucson. His daughter, who worked at the restaurant in Tempe, first introduced him to Pita Jungle. One visit is all it took. He sold his McDonald’s restaurants and four years later opened his first Pita Jungle on 5340 E. Broadway Blvd.
Now, more than a year later, Chavis has made his way to the northwest side of Tucson with the hope of giving the same high-quality service of food. Pita Jungle offers fresh seafood, salads, pitas, burgers and pizza.
“Most everything we make is from scratch,” said Chavis. “All is very high-quality and we get fresh produce six days a week. It’s a full-service, full-menu and full-bar restaurant.”
Besides the draw of the food, Chavis said the uniquely-designed interior of each Pita Jungle sets it apart from other restaurants. Each restaurant’s interior is different. The northwest Pita Jungle takes on a more industrial look with metal pipes serving as a framework around the kitchen area and local art hanging on the walls.
“Tucson likes to think of itself as hip so I think this concept will really appeal to the people here,” said Chavis.
The restaurant is in the process of switching over to a full bar and will soon have online ordering available for customers.