A local Italian restaurant wants to give its customers the opportunity to make pasta dishes at home.
Olivia Restaurant, which opened in January 2020 at 290 S. Downing St. in Wash Park, to expand into an adjacent 1,000-square-foot space at 284 S. Downing St. , which was once home to Aveda Hair Salon.
Austin Carson, co-owner and beverage manager, told BusinessDen that the restaurant wants to expand its dining space and also plans to use a third of the space to open a pasta shop during the day.
“We were in Italy last year and saw a lot of pasta stores, which is kind of the source of the idea,” Carson said. “We also needed space to increase pasta production, but at night we will add additional seating for the restaurant.”
The pasta shop, tentatively named PS Olivia, will sell handcrafted stuffed and extruded pastas, sauces, pasta tools, the restaurant’s proprietary flour mix and bottled wine. Carson and his partners, Heather Morrison and Executive Chef Ty Lyon, plan to open it in the fall.
Olivia’s Restaurant, which now has about 25 seats in its 1,388 square feet, will double its seating capacity with the new expansion.
“We were originally looking for another space before the owner gave us that opportunity,” Carson said. “We are really fortunate that demand is currently outstripping supply, and we needed to ramp up pasta production. So putting it in the same building made more sense than coordinating two different restaurant entities.”
Carson and its owners purchased Café Marmotte, the former French bistro at 290 S. Downing St. In 2019. They ran it for four months before opening Olivia Restaurant.
They also opened Bistro Georgette in 2018 in LoHi’s Avanti F&B food court. They close in October after a short-term lease. But Carson said the group hopes to open a new brick-and-mortar concept outside of Olivia’s Restaurant and Georgette’s Bistro in the near future.
“Myself, Ty, and Heather are talking all the time about what we want our restaurant group to look like,” Carson said. “We want to keep growing. I don’t know we’ll ever be giant, but we want to grow to the point where we want to take advantage of volume-based buying opportunities and make sure our talented employees have opportunities to rise. We’re not shying away from our Maseratis restaurants, as some would suppose. People are having restaurants, so more revenue won’t hurt.”
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This story was reported by our partner BusinessDen.