When Olympic Cafe lost its longtime lease at 2340 University Ave. (at Texas Street), it was up in the air over what would move in there. It’s turned out to be a Pizza Hut franchise restaurant, currently at 2786 University Ave. (corner of Idaho Street) in North Park.
A public relations spokesperson [“Doug”] for Yum! Brands, Inc., the parent company of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, emailed: “I can confirm this, and it'll happen in the next couple of months. That's the best timeline available.” The North Park pizzeria currently has two stars on Yelp.
Meanwhile, Olympic Cafe, noted for its big-portion comfort food, will open soon in a remodeled restaurant building formerly occupied by Jersey Joe’s Pizzeria at 2310 University Ave. Extensive renovation has turned the building’s storage space into a patio dining area, with a custom wrought iron gate in front. An upper-left area of the structure now has decorative faux shutters.
Edwin Lohr, president of North Park Community Association, said that “the Olympic Cafe [renovation] is looking good. I know, as in the past, they will do great.”
Other business changes are afoot in North Park. A source at Edyth Wireless/metroPCS said that a beer brewery is moving in next door, at 2516-A University Ave. That space was previously home for Crystal View Vinyl Works & Remodeling. On my April 10 walk-by, the store was closed and padlocked. An email to Crystal View has not been returned.
Rinse salon moved out of their longtime location, an old Craftsman house at 2528 University Ave. They are now ensconced at 4201 30th Street in The Earnest, a mixed-use apartment building by the architecture and development collaborative called Foundation for Form.
Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street, approves this kind of change. “The west end of University Avenue is beginning to see the positive impact of North Park’s thriving business district," Landsberg told the Reader. “Run-down properties are being vacated and sold, which is the first step toward improvements.”