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Olive Lucy's Coming to Speedwell Avenue in January

Former owner of The Brick Oven of Morristown opening new business in space formerly occupied by Villa Cafe.

It didn't take long for Alan Valenti to decide to get back in the restaurant game after he and his partners sold The Brick Oven of Morristown in 2010.

Valenti, a 10-year Morris Township resident originally from Brooklyn, said he knew for many years—even during his time on Wall Street—that he wanted to get into the business. And while that South Street restaurant had proven successful, as one of three partners, Valenti did not have as much creative control he was seeking, which he said his new business venture offers.

That venture, Olive Lucy's Kitchen Table, is expected to open by the end of January in the space formery occupied by Villa Cafe on Speedwell Avenue.

The restaurateur knew he wanted his next venture to stay in Morristown. It was, after all, where he had his first date with now-wife Allison. "Our first date was at the old Valentino's (now David Todd's City Tavern)," said Valenti, 47. "It was nice because it reminded me of what we had in Brooklyn. You can park your car and walk anywhere. I love it here."

So do a lot of budding business owners apparently. While Olive Lucy's has an anticipated January 2013 opening date, Valenti said he began looking for a new property about six months after selling The Brick Oven over two years ago.

Eventually, 52 Speedwell Ave. opened up when Villa Enterprises closed its Villa Cafe in Morristown earlier this year.

But while the building's former and current tenant share Italian roots, that's about where similarities end. "Other than the structure, everything is changed," Valenti said. "You probably won't even recognize it."

You may not recognize the menu, either. While Valenti said Olive Lucy's will have Italian-themed dishes, it also will include Portuguese, a theme he said came up often when he and his wife frequently went out for dinner but had different ideas on where to go.

"I love Italian food, so I knew it would have some of that," he said. "But, for Paella you need to go down Route 46 or Ironbound. I wished we could go to one place to get it. That's how the concept came out."

More than just the sum of two of its parts, Valenti said the focus for Olive Lucy's—named in part after one of his four children—rested deeper in the second part of its name. "It's a kitchen table more than anything else," he said. "There will be a variety of things."

Given his previous track record with another Morristown restaurant, Valenti said,"we're really confident.

"It's very different than anything else in Morristown. I think people will really like it," he said.

Alan Johnson December 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Wow! Love the idea! Love the conceptual interior designs! Love Italian and Portuguese food! Can't wait for opening day!
Mike Bower December 08, 2012 at 03:58 AM
WOW What a concept! Anothe Italian restaurant in Morristown??? That now makes 4 more coming within one year! Thats in addition to the 25 that already exist!!! You must be dumber than dirt! Villa couldnt make it in that crappy location and now you think you are?? The meatballs on this guy! I hope you lose your shirt!!!
Frank R. December 13, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Wow! It's was a few days since I was last on Motown patch and I just happen to have this comment page tab open. Mike Bower's comments are scary on some many levels. All I can say is I wish the owner all the best and hope his restaurant brings fortune to him and his family.
Kari Valickas January 17, 2013 at 06:14 AM
Yeah what's wrong mike bower? Where you the owner of the previous restaurant? It's ok, chin up buddy just bc you can't make a place make money doesn't mean someone with talent, vision and a proven track record like mr Valenti can't. I mean have you seen place?, like nothing I've seen in Morris or maybe jersey. Also his ace in the whole is a chef that is bringing the menu that morristown has been waiting to to long for. It a town of foodies with crappy choices till now Did I mention he's geargous
Nancy February 17, 2013 at 10:20 PM
We ate there last night, February 16, 2013. The food was fabulous along with the atmosphere and staff. Good luck and I am looking forward to returning.

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