A well-regarded pizza mini-chain from Dallas has set its sights on Fort Worth. Olivella's Neo Pizza Napoletana, which currently has three branches in Dallas, will open a branch at 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth, in a former Jakes Burgers location.
Jakes, known for breakfast and burgers, moved to North Freeway in the Fossil Creek area in February.
Owner Charlie Green debuted Olivella's with a flourish in 2007 in University Park, back when Dallas pizza was still in the chain-centric cardboard-crust dark ages. He got his recipes from pizzaiolo Salvatore Olivella, a native of Naples and master of the New York pizza scene. A second branch opened in 2010 in Victory Park, and a third in Lakewood in 2012.
Olivella's specializes in Neapolitan pizza, as well as a Roman/Northern Italian-style crust, which Green describes, accurately, as one of the thinnest pizzas in the country.
Green anticipates that the Fort Worth branch will open by the end of the year.
"This is obviously a new market for us," he says. "But one thing we've heard at our location at Victory Park is that people from Fort Worth and the west side who are coming in for events at American Airlines Center will ask us about opening a location there."
He considered Southlake before being offered the Jakes space, which he says has a great layout and feel.
"It has a really big patio that can be heated in the winter and cooled in the summer," he says. "We're going to use some of the modern elements from our Victory Park location and the Old World elements from Lakewood."
The menu will be similar to his other branches, but he is planning some special new dishes he'll introduce to coincide with the opening in Fort Worth.
"Expanding to Fort Worth is something I'd considered in the past, and I felt like this is the right time to do it," he says.