Twenty-five years after World Wrapps was born in the Bay Area, two of its original founders have revived the fast-casual chain and plan to open two locations on the Peninsula.
World Wrapps will open at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto in late January or early February and at the San Antonio Center in Mountain View in late 2021 or early 2022. Local diners might remember World Wrapps from when it operated on Emerson Street and University Avenue in Palo Alto 20 years ago.
The revamped wWorld Wrapps menu includes bowls and burrito-sized summer rolls Photo courtesy World Wrapps.
Matthew Blair and Keith Cox, two of the four owners who opened World Wrapps in San Francisco in 1995, recently bought back and revamped the company. (Cox also co-founded and owns sustainable seafood eatery Pacific Catch.) World Wrapps 2.0, as they call it, serves flatbread that's pressed fresh to order and plant-based Beyond Meat. They dropped smoothies from the menu and replaced them with boba tea, aqua fresca, horchata and mango lassi.
In addition to flatbread wraps, the eatery now serves burrito-sized nori wraps with sushi rice and fillings like yellowfin tuna, furikake salmon, ahi poke, avocado, macadamia nuts and garlic aioli. There are also large versions of summer rolls, rice paper stuffed with proteins including chicken, shrimp, salmon and tahini tofu. All wraps can be ordered as bowls.
They reopened the first World Wrapps location in San Francisco in early 2020. When the coronavirus hit, they pivoted to donating meals to first responders, health care workers and people in need. This effort, combined with the menu's natural disposition to takeout, meant World Wrapps hasn't had to furlough or lay off a single employee during the pandemic, Blair said.
"We're very fortunate to be in fast casual right now. We have small stores. We do have dine-in capability but that's not the majority of our business," he said.
It's also allowed them to keep growing at a time when most restaurants are struggling to survive. There are now three World Wrapps in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Corte Madera. The Palo Alto World Wrapps will open next, then another outpost in San Ramon and Mountain View.
Stay tuned on opening dates for the Palo Alto and Mountain View locations.