Michael Fojtasek, chef-owner of Olamaie, says he was just days away from reopening his restaurants when the results of Texas’ early reopening efforts started coming in.
After seeing the spike in COVID-19 cases, hearing troubling reports from industry friends and witnessing some of the public’s resistance to practice basic safety measures like mask wearing, the owner of the #1 ranked restaurant in the city by Austin360 last year, decided against opening his restaurant. But he says he still "wanted to give the people what they want." Which is biscuits.
Olamaie, which has sat silent since March 15, will reopen Thursday as Little Ola’s Biscuits, a takeout-only operation specializing in the dish synonymous with the refined Southern restaurant.
Little Ola’s will serve biscuits (individually and by the half-dozen and dozen) and biscuit sandwiches (pimento cheese and tomato; fried chicken thigh with honey; sausage, egg and cheese; and country ham and cheese), along with prepared cocktails; salads (tomato salad, cucumber salad, peach salad and smoked chicken salad); provisions like honey butter and pimento cheese; and sweets, including cookie packs, biscuit cinnamon rolls and more.
In addition to giving guests the comfort of Southern food during the restaurant’s prolonged closure, Fojtasek says opening the new operation will also allow the restaurant to lessen the economic impact of closure and continue to pay full health insurance benefits for all of the restaurant’s employees. Fojtasek, who was one of the first in the city to close his restaurant in the face of the pandemic, adds that he has no plans to reopen the full restaurant anytime soon.
Little Ola’s Biscuits will operate 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, with customers able to place orders online at olamaieaustin.com.