On its seventh day in business, Revival Cafe & Kitchen’s Davis Square location is bustling.
The cafe is cozy and bright, with light streaming in through a wall of windows that will open up in warm weather. A rectangle of clipboards announces the day’s food menu—The Jimmy Pesto (egg, pickled red onion, spinach, feta, sunflower seed pesto, homemade English muffin), Fake News (pastrami, red cabbage kraut, Russian dressing, gruyere, rye bread), Magic Melt (braised beef, “something pickled,” sunflower seed pesto, pepper jack, garlic aioli, potato bread).
The Davis spot (197 Elm St.) is the second location for Revival, following an opening in Alewife in June 2018. Owners Liza Shirazi and Steve “Nookie” Postal were also the team behind Harvard Square’s beloved Crema Cafe, which shuttered in December after the shop was unable to negotiate a lease with the building’s new owners.
But don’t despair, Crema lovers—visit Revival in Davis, and you’ll notice many familiar touches. For one, the majority of Crema’s staff came over to the new shop. Additionally, there’s menu overlap, including the most popular sandwich from Crema (Crema Grilled Chicken, with avocado, cotija cheese and corn spread, and potato bread).
Like the Alewife location, however, Davis’s Revival gives off a more modern vibe than Crema did, Shirazi explains.
She adds that the Revival team’s ready to engage with the neighborhood just as they did at Crema.
“People have gravitated to it being a meeting spot, or a working spot,” she says. “It’s a great community.”
What else is special about Davis’s newest coffee shop? Thanks to the combination of Shirazi’s coffee background, Postal’s food background, and the large kitchen at Alewife’s Revival, the team’s able to do it all.
“What we’re doing is inspired by great food, great products, great beverages, great service, and great atmosphere—to really nail that combination of things, to do them all equally,” Shirazi says.