An acclaimed name in Dallas pizza is expanding to Deep Ellum: Olivella's Pizza and Wine, which currently has three locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, is opening a restaurant in the booming entertainment district, taking over the space at 2816 Elm St. that was previously occupied by the bar Hide.
Olivella's owner Charlie Green says it'll open this spring.
"We'd like to be open by April," he says. "It's a second-generation space with a good layout, and what we're doing is mostly cosmetic, so I'm feeling as optimistic as you can right now."
With one of the oldest pizza families from Naples, Italy, Green debuted Olivella's in 2007 in University Park with authentic recipes and delicious pies that helped pull Dallas out of the pizza dark ages. He's been a nimble survivor, opening locations in areas where there existed a need including Lakewood, at the now buzzy Hillside Village, the shopping center on the northeast corner of Mockingbird Lane and Abrams Road, which he opened in 2012.
He also expanded his three locations by adding adjoining wine shops, with bottles you can get to go such as Joel Gott pinot noir from the Willamette Valley.
Olivella's specializes in Neapolitan pizza, as well as a Roman/Northern Italian-style crust, which Green describes as one of the thinnest pizzas in the country.
Toppings are gourmet, with notable varieties such as the Snow White, with mozzarella, ricotta, oregano, garlic, and olive oil — no sauce; and Pistachio & Sausage, with mozzarella, sausage made in-house, and pistachios, also with no sauce. (Although most of the pizzas do come with Olivella's vibrant pizza sauce.)
The menu also has salads; panini such as meatball and chicken parm; and a half dozen pastas including chicken pesto linguine and lasagna Bolognese. One new element he'll incorporate at the Deep Ellum location is a full bar with specialty cocktails; the other three locations serve beer and wine.
Green is no stranger to the downtown Dallas area; he was a pioneer in Victory Park when he opened a location there in 2010.
"Deep Ellum to me feels like it’s having a Renaissance," he says. "It's less biker bars and more like the East Village when it was transitioning away from the Lou Reed days. It's become a more traditional commercial district with a wider appeal. There are also a ton more residents in the Deep Ellum and Farmers Market area."
Hide opened in 2017 and earned acclaim for its food and cocktails, but closed in June 2020 during the pandemic. It's in the process of relocating to 1928 Greenville Ave., and the space was briefly home to a quirky fill-in concept with a Chicago theme called RoPo & Logan which closed in January.
"When I saw that space was available, I jumped on it," he says. "The area is exploding. Obviously, that neighborhood has a few pizza places already, but it seems like there's a variety and plenty of business — I'm excited about it."