Olive Branch in downtown Waco gets a makeover after frost disaster | News from local businesses

Leah Stewart with her business partner Michael Carney, left.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribune-Herald

Leah Stewart drew a chapter from Noah’s experience with water when she chose a name for her downtown restaurant in 2003.

Sadly, his restaurant Olive Branch suffered its own encounter with a rising tide in February, when the Waco ice storm blew pipes above its ground floor at the RiverSquare Center.

Olive branch

The renovated olive branch is back in business months after frozen pipes burst and flooded the bistro.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribune-Herald

But Stewart made a good recovery to reopen last Friday, and there is no indication she sent a dove to check for flood damage. It may be remembered that Genesis 8: 9-11 records that Noah sent a dove from his ark in prayer after a 40-day flood in the hope of finding a dry place. The bird returned with an olive branch.

Sitting in her renovated dig on the first floor of RiverSquare, Stewart said the five-month hiatus between February 14 and July 14 could have left her business dry, but didn’t. Stewart took the break to reflect on the future of Olive Branch, its place in a downtown area bursting with potential. She chose to start the dinner service, put together an appetizer menu, pledged to increase the list of dishes, so to speak, knowing that nighttime diners can arrive hungrier.

These entrees include crispy Brussels sprouts, fried green tomatoes, fried goat cheese, au gratin wild mushrooms, a charcuterie board, a fruit and cheese platter, a trio of sliders, and garlic oil. with herbs, according to a list provided by Stewart.

Fortunately, she said, the new local owners of RiverSquare and its insurance company, Pinnacle Insurance Group, have done well with Olive Branch. She received approximately $ 150,000 to replace lost content and commercial income. Local business leaders Clifton and Gordon Robinson, who now have RiverSquare in their Brazos River Capital portfolio, have launched repairs in the Spice Village and Olive Branch space, as well as what the Tribune-Herald now occupies.

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