OliBea, 211 South Central Street, Knoxville, February 2020
It’s like running into an old friend on an end of the street where you wouldn’t expect to find them. And remembering all the things you love about them while discovering new qualities you’d never noticed before. You’ll find the great food, the comfort and coziness of the old spot, and a new, slightly more polished charm, as well as an expanded menu.
OliBea, a long-time breakfast and brunch favorite has moved just down the street from its original location where it opened just over five years ago. While we all enjoyed the great meals and coziness of the old spot, it was small and the lines sometimes got long. The staff made do with a less-than-perfect, very tiny kitchen, and there was little room to be creative.
The new spot, located directly across the street from the downtown dog park, carries with it much of the coziness and charm and answers many of the issues created by the original space. The staff now has a full kitchen, which has allowed for an expanded menu that includes daily specials and more lunch options. An expanded salad and sandwich list includes some great new additions such as a tofu sloppy joe. The larger kitchen also allows for faster service and a more pleasant work environment for chef Dealejandro and his staff.
With a capacity of around 65, the new space nearly doubles the indoor seating of the original location. Unlike the original, the new location will offer patio seating for around sixteen when the weather is good. Sidewalk service will also be available through a front window, where you can get coffee drinks, house-made pastries, and treats for your canine on your way to the dog park.
OliBea has partnered with Honeybee Coffee, and patrons will have a choice of everything from a solid cup of black java all the way through to the fancy stuff. You’ll also be able to order a beer or wine inside the new location.
You’ll find an interesting interior, thanks to many local artisans. You should see art on the wall by Lauren Lazarus, tables by Knoxious Ironworks, and great finishes. The south wall and beams, lovingly finished by Eugenia Almeida with A New Hue and which you’ll swear are wood, are actually faux wood formed by sculpting the finish on the cement. You’ll also see beautiful pottery from Andro Lux Pottery lining the shelves along several walls
You’ll also soon be able to enjoy good meats in the Old City at Hen+Hoc Deli & Butcher, a joint venture featuring Chef Dealejandro and Chef Jon Newman. The pair will be crafting aged charcuterie, fresh, local cuts of meats, and house-made deli meat, brats, and sausages along with daily quick-fix lunch specials. More on that later.
The kitchen will also allow for catering events both in-house during off hours and at other locations. New hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Monday hours are likely to be announced in a few weeks. For now, come in and enjoy great food, familiar faces and a cozy new spot. Connect with OliBea on their website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.