Local Turkish restaurant to replace Daphne’s Mediterranean location on Guadalupe

Nicole Stuessy

After multiple name changes and owners, Daphne’s Mediterranean has closed all its locations in Texas — including the location near campus on the Drag.

The previous location, known as both Verts and Noon, was purchased by Elite Restaurant Group in fall 2018 after filing for bankruptcy protection last August, according to the Austin American-Statesman. MezzeMe, an Austin-based Turkish restaurant, recently bought out the Guadalupe Street location and is set to open in the first week of September.

“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,” a Daphne’s spokesperson told GuideLive. “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.”

Alex Meed, a public affairs graduate student, said during the transitions from Verts to Noon to Daphne’s, menu changes took away popular choices such as sweet potato fries and various types of pitas.

“Even with being bought out by Daphne’s, they weren’t able to really reinvent themselves to the extent necessary,” Meed said. “Maybe the fact that Cava is on Guadalupe now too might have also affected things because they’re obviously very similar in the type of food that they served.”

MezzeMe publicist Chelsea McCullough said this will be the restaurant’s second location to open in the U.S., with the first located in The Triangle on Guadalupe and 47th streets. 

“We’re excited to open the second MezzeMe location on the UT campus,” McCullough said in an email. “We are looking forward to serving the students and will provide free Wi-Fi and free printing for students, as well as a study lounge area.”

MezzeMe’s menu offers Mediterranean items and features mezzes, a Turkish word meaning “small plates,” such as shakshuka, zucchini yogurt, roasted eggplant, hummus and spicy tabouli. Despite Daphne’s closing its doors months earlier, McCullough said they believe UT students will be receptive to MezzeMe’s healthy, casual menu.

“Austin is a fast-growing city, and we’re hopeful that students and families in the area will make MezzeMe a destination because of our health-conscious, farm fresh menu,” McCullough said in an email.

Biology senior Bryan Barrientos said he first tried MezzeMe last summer while looking for new restaurants near campus, and said he has eaten there regularly
ever since.

“We would go to new places to eat because we were tired of eating Cane’s and Chick-fil-A,” Barrientos said. “We just found some places around us and we thought MezzeMe sounded kind of dope, so we tried it and it was amazing.”

Barrientos said he thinks MezzeMe won’t have issues bringing in customers in the new location.

“If people just try the food, they will have business because it’s a whole different thing than Verts and Noon,” Barrientos said. “It’s Turkish food. I’m going to spread the word because it’s
so good.”