Restaurant Olivia opening pasta shop as it expands next door in Wash Park

A local Italian restaurant wants to give its customers the chance to whip up its pasta dishes at home.

Restaurant Olivia, which opened in January 2020 at 290 S. Downing St. in Wash Park, is preparing to expand into the adjacent 1,000-square-foot space at 284 S. Downing St., previously home to an Aveda hair salon.

Co-owner and beverage director Austin Carson told BusinessDen that the restaurant wants to expand its dining space and is also planning 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 shops, which is sort of where the idea came from,” Carson said. “We also needed a space to increase pasta production, but at night we will add additional seating for the restaurant.”

The pasta shop, which is tentatively named P.S. Olivia, will sell handmade filled and extruded pastas, sauces, pasta tools, the restaurant’s proprietary blend of flour and bottles of wine. Carson and his co-owners, Heather Morrison and executive chef Ty Leon, plan to open it in the fall.

Restaurant Olivia, which has around 25 seats now in its 1,388-square-foot space, will double its seating capacity with the new expansion.

“We were originally looking for another space before our landlord presented us with this opportunity,” Carson said. “We’re really fortunate that demand is exceeding supply right now, and we needed to increase pasta production. So, to have it in the same building made more sense than coordinating between two different restaurant entities.”

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