Route 29 exits: Calypso, Olivaté close shop

July saw the closing of two restaurants on 29 North, including one that opened less than four months ago.

Over at Albemarle Square, Olivaté, the family-owned Italian restaurant that opened in the old Fat Daddy's space in late December 2007, closed its doors July 14. The owners, Dick and Linda Oliva, who own the Ceramico Tile Company, had wanted to fulfill a dream of opening a restaurant and using old family recipes.

"If there's a better Italian restaurant in Charlottesville, I haven't been there," wrote blogger Waldo Jaquith a few years ago.

Indeed, Dish had heard mostly positive things about the place over the years, which makes its demise all the more sad. Calls to the Oliva family were returned, but they weren't ready to comment publicly. According to a recent listing with Roy Wheeler Realty, the fully equipped restaurant is currently for sale for $95,000. 

"That's terrible news," says Jaquith today. "Olivaté was a wonderful restaurant that suffered from a terrible location in a dying shopping center. My wife and I became evangelical Olivaté customers, fearful that it was just too good to last."

In March, Calypso, a new Caribbean restaurant, café, and bakery opened in an elaborately renovated former bank building at 1709 Emmet Street, right next to Raising Cane's.

Owners Ghizlaine Taft and Dawn Gonsalves tried to bring authentic food from the region. They creatively turned the bank drive-thru into a coffee and bakery drive-thru, and they converted one of the bank's old vaults into a wine cellar.

However, according to one real estate expert we spoke to, the space leading up to an oft-crowded ramp to U.S. 250 West poses a "tough" location for a restaurant. Taft declined to comment on the closure, but a real estate listing shows the 5,222 square-foot space for lease as a restaurant for a little under $7,000 a month.


We ate at Olivaté on its closing night and the server told us the landlord refused to renew the lease. They did not want to close.

I really liked it every time I ate there (three or four times, but I don't go out that much.) I'm disappointed.

Olivate was top notch. Hope they try somewhere else.

how about advertising, I didnt even know you guys existed

Sad. Best pasta I ever ate in Charlottesville.


My husband and I absolutely loved this restaurant. It was indeed like a family atmosphere, and one of the few places that you could have a quiet candlight dinner. The servers were the most pleasant I ever encountered. Dick and Linda were wonderful and you were always greeted with a smile and kind word. We often chose Olivate for our birthday and anniversary dinners. The food was delicious, and Dick was always willing to fix something a bit different than what was on the menu if you desired. The signed wine bottles that were cut in half and secured all around the restaurant wall from former patrons also gave the restaurant a personal touch. I am very sad to hear this news....a great loss for Charlottesville....

They were nice, kind people that served good food- you will be missed.

If only Olivaté and the Moto Bar had set up in each other's spaces, the Woolen Mill's would have a real neighborhood place and the noise and bad attitude would be out where it wouldn't bother anyone.Don't think Moto will be long for the world either. Whoever buys it should think about good Italian. Really hard to get around hear and everybody loves it. The Woolen Mills would kiss they're feet.

Yeah...right... who is the ding dong that said you cannot get good Italian in Belmont?

It is called Tavola. Your lucky you have it in your neighborhood.

Who's the ding dong that can't distinguish between Belmont and Woolen Mills?

The Calypso folks couldn't have been from C'ville; that was possibly the worst location of all time. And, assuming they weren't, the realtor that let them think it was a good idea, well, ...that's what can give realtors a certain reputation.

the moto saloon wasn't the noise ,it was the lunchbox & the moto got the blame

My only point was the WoolenMills could use a neighborhood bar and the Moto Saloon doesn't care about the neighborhood. These people would have done well and been loved just like Beer Run. The saloon doesn't fit. Saloon, really? It ain't the old west. Gimmie some pasta though anyday.

The Calypso folks know Cville...I believe the wife runs a daycare in town. So, yes, I am not sure why they used that location--very difficult to get in and out of.

I never ate at Olivate, but that is too bad... I picture that type of place doing really well in a smaller town/area--someplace like Fluvanna or Greene, where the locals can appreciate a good meal and have fewer options to choose from than Cville.

I ate at Olivate once and found it overcrowded, overpriced, and pretty bland.

"suffered from a terrible location" why would you put a restaurant there in the fist place... I hear one across from the police station is for sale

even sadder than Olivate closing, the comment "Dish heard positive things about it". what kind of half assed newspaper is this? in 4 years , the restaurant column never found out for itself this place is any good? way to support local business!