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Posted at 5:40 PM ET, 05/ 4/2009

Farrah Olivia: At Home in Old Town, For Now

By Julia Beizer

Chef Morou (shown at Farrah Olivia in 2006) will be staying put in Old Town. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

Good news for Farrah Olivia fans: the restaurant can stay open in its Old Town Alexandria space -- for now. As you may have read, Farrah Olivia's landlord (Balducci's) recently told the restaurant it would not renew its lease and the fine-dining spot would have to close up shop on April 29. But just days before the restaurant was set to close, the new lease-holder intervened and said Farrah Olivia could remain open.

"We don't know how far that's going to go ... but we're back at the table," reports chef Morou Ouattara. The restaurant will remain in the Old Town space until the end of May and may go month-to-month after that. When I first spoke to Ouattara about this a few weeks back, he was concerned about having his cooks "out on the street" in this economy, so he says he's especially pleased with the way the new lease arrangement has worked out.

Alexandria dwellers were particularly tenacious in their support for the restaurant. "We have had people e-mailing us and asking who they need to talk to" to keep the restaurant open in Old Town, and though Ouattara never took them up on their offers, he's happy to stay in his space. (Local Kicks had a piece last week that details some of the neighborhood's passion.)

In other Ouattara news, the chef recently inked a lease for the former Bebo space in Crystal City. That site will be home to Kora, a new Italian concept he is creating with his older brother, Amadou. Look out for an opening some time in June.

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | May 4, 2009; 5:40 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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