A restaurant that's been in Victory Park for a decade — a miracle by Victory Park standards — is closing. After nearly 10 years, Olivella's the authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria from Charlie Green, is checking out.
Green says that, faced with a new lease, he opted not to renew. The restaurant will close in mid-October.
Green, who opened the Victory Park location following his hugely successful debut of the concept in University Park, was part of the first wave of restaurants in Victory Park that includes many now-gone concepts such as Naga Thai.
But one aspect he grappled with during his tenure at Victory Park was the size of his space. It was big. Too big.
"One thing I've discovered since opening our original location in University Park is that our perfect size is about 1,800 to 2,000 square feet," he says. "The Victory Park location, including patios, has 5,000 square feet. That's great when you have Pearl Jam or the Chicago Blackhawks in town, but it's probably too big the rest of the time."
Even despite that, Olivella's was able to stick it through despite longterm upheaval in the neighborhood, including extensive street repairs, vacancies, and the construction of a second wave in the area that includes Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas and the whole South Victory initiative.
"Our former Victory Park landlord hailed us as heroes, since Olivella's was able to provide them with a much-needed success story they could point to when attracting a collection of new, blue chip tenants," Green says. "That said, we have been fortunate to have had landlords who have helped us hang in there through challenging times."
In addition to University Park, Olivella's locations can be found in Lakewood, Fort Worth, Plano, and Las Colinas.
Green also opened El Famoso, an L.A.-style Mexican restaurant in Las Colinas in 2018.
He says he still has faith in Victory Park. "They have a lot more residents in the area, there's a hotel going up and another office tower," he says. "The idea was always that events were just the icing, not the main attraction, and with all that's coming to the area, that might finally be true."