By next fall, if all goes according to plan for restaurateur Sava Lelcaj, a third venue will be added to her family of markets and eateries.

Lelcaj has made plans to once again expand her repertoire, which currently consists of Sava’s Restaurant and Babo market, both downtown. She recently purchased a third space on East Washington Street, which is currently occupied by the family-owned Mahek Indian Cuisine.

Sava’s General Manager Felicia Viening said the new restaurant will be oriented around the concept of Mediterranean tapas.

“Sava really wanted to do something new and something different,” Veining said. “With Sava’s there’s a really eclectic American bistro feel, and Babo is a marketplace-style grocery store with a lot of fresh produce and a really friendly atmosphere, so we feel like this will be a nice addition.”

Veining said though the lease was only signed about a week and a half ago, Sava’s management has been whispering about the idea for some time.

“We knew that we wanted to do something, so we’d been asking our friends and regular customers about their thoughts and what they’d like to see,” she said. “Sava loves the community of Ann Arbor and always works to give people what they want, so we were definitely interested in what they had to say.”

She said the plan for the expansion will create an approximately 6,500-square-foot restaurant with one area set up as an espresso bar and the other reserved for dining. Because the former establishment already included a functioning kitchen, the renovations are not expected to be too dramatic.

Veining added that “authenticity” would be paramount in the creation and execution of the new restaurant, which has yet to be named.

“Being from Albania, Sava really wanted to get back to her Mediterranean roots and pursue something really unique,” she said. “Several staff members are currently planning a trip to Spain so that we can study the foods and flavors and culture in order to make sure we’re as accurate as possible.”

Correction appended: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story had an incorrect headline.

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