If you’ve been confused as you look for a Mediterranean-inspired lunch from Verts and can’t seem to find the name in town anymore, don’t worry. The fast-casual artist originally known as VertsKebap still exists, but now goes by the name Noon Mediterranean. The business, which started in Austin in 2011, felt it had an identity and branding issue last year, according to industry publication QSR Magazine, and axed the “kebap” from its name, choosing to go with the more direct Verts. But the new name for the restaurant that started as “the world’s smallest food truck,” operating out of a Smart Car off The Drag, still didn’t communicate the idea of the restaurant well enough, so now it’s Noon Mediterranean. Noon, which got its start as Verts selling spit-roasted doner kebabs, serves a variety of grain and greens bowls (though you can still get a pita-wrapped meal) topped with grilled proteins and a variety of sides and accoutrements.
Founded by Michael Heyne and Dominik Stein, the company took on $20 million in private funding in 2015, and expanded to East Coast cities like Boston and New York. The concept, which had 26 stores in 2015, has since contracted, and now has 20 locations, including eight in Austin. The owners told QSR Magazine that they intend to expand nationally, with plans to open in New York City by the end of the year.