In major blow for the turnaround momentum of the eastside’s Boulevard Mall, both Olivia’s Mexican Restaurant & Bar and the Hatari Restaurant & Sports Bar have shuttered. In recent weeks, both restaurant’s social media had promised they were remodeling, with Olivia’s even posting signage boasting a “new look” was on the way.
The common thread behind the closures is operator Shafik Hirji, who has also shuttered the mall’s Furniture Fashions retail store. A former business partner has created a website to document a lengthy set of grievances against Hriji, who recently closed his two local outposts of the Champagne Salon & Spa.
Olivia’s Mexican Restaurant & Bar debuted in May 2016, then known as Olivia's Latin Cuisine, the first dedicated restaurant attached to the mall. The 5,318-square-foot space featured patio dining and a menu curated by Faviola Trujillo, a force behind two local outposts of Taco Y Taco Mexican Eatery.
Hatari Restaurant & Sports Bar opened in January of this year, filling a 6,729-square-foot corner spot with two outdoor patios, a corner stage designed for "live DJs, karaoke, local bands and more," 99-cent beers and "more than a dozen large 4K TV screens."
No details of what might fill these vacant areas have been announced and the Boulevard Mall still lists the two ventures and furniture store as open for business in the mall directory. Roland Sansone and his Sansone Companies bought the 45-year old fading institution in 2014 for $54.5 million, investing tens of millions to remodel, including the recent additions of John's Incredible Pizza Co. and the forthcoming King Putt.