Olamaie owner opening Little Ola's Biscuits in North Austin
Olamaie owner Michael Fojtasek bet on his biscuits, and it seems his instincts were right. The owner of the refined Southern restaurant last summer turned his dormant restaurant, which he temporarily shuttered March 15, into a takeout shop called Little Ola’s that features the beloved “secret menu” biscuits that have been a hit at the Judges Hill restaurant since it opened.
The biscuits are served individually and as the base for an array of sandwiches, including pimento cheese and fried chicken versions. Little Ola’s is now getting its own home. Fojtasek is opening Little Ola’s Biscuits at 14735 Bratton Lane in the former Garbo’s space in Wells Branch, as first reported by Eater Austin.
Fojtasek had originally conceived about a year ago of using the space for a commissary kitchen for the food operation he will be running at Butler Pitch and Putt, which will reopen with a facelift this spring, but after the success of his temporary shop and hearing from Garbo’s owner Heidi Gabro about the great community support in the North Austin neighborhood, he decided to give his offshoot concept its own home. (Garbo’s has moved into the former Opal Divine’s space at 12709 N. Mopac.)
“It just feels like a good decision to meet new guests who don’t make their way down to Central Austin as much,” Fojtasek told the American-Statesman. “Going north is not a bad idea right now.”
Fojtasek says that the pandemic also helped clarify his thinking about business decisions. With perennial Top 10 restaurant Olamaie established as one of the city’s best fine dining restaurants, Fojtasek wanted to move in a more casual direction.
“I think what the pandemic caused me to do is think about things that are more functional than sexy,” Fojtasek said. “This feels like a good business decision and an opportunity to expand into a market. I think the pandemic has eliminated frou frou. I’m lucky enough to have had the experience at Olamaie. I’m not trying to prove anything anymore, I just wanna put good stuff out there.”
Fojtasek says that his staff has been fortunate to avoid any COVID-19 infections, and he will continue to put their safety first in making future decisions about reopening Olamaie. With vaccines now being distributed throughout the Austin area, Fojtasek says he is hopeful to reopen Olamaie in April once all of his employees have been vaccinated.
Little Ola’s Biscuits will open sometime in February and serve from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Little Ola’s at Olamaie, which also features chicken fried steak and fried chicken dinner service, will continue to operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Sunday.
When Butler Pitch and Putt reopens this spring, Fojtasek will be serving up a menu of sandwiches (pimento cheese, smoked chicken salad and more) that will take its cues from the food served each spring at The Masters golf tournament.
2019 Austin360 Dining Guide: Olamaie (#1)