By Kevin Greer
Communications Manager

Since 2006, Lakesiders have lined up in Ooh La La’s Second Street restaurant for a delicious sandwich or treat. This year, the popular eatery opened in mid-May, but at a new location. 

Owners Mike and Patti Savona moved Ooh La La a short walk away to the former Slack House Historic Café at 236 Walnut Avenue. When approached by former Lakeside President and CEO Kip Greenhill and current COO and interim President and CEO Charles Allen about the possibility of a move, it was an offer the Savonas couldn’t pass up. 

“I thought right away that this is a great venue,” Mike said. “We’re excited. We have more storage and more refrigeration. The kitchen alone is bigger than the entire place on Second Street. We hope we can be more efficient and that can save us time to offset the anticipated increase in volume.” 

The Savonas are not making any menu changes and, for now, have no plans to make any additions. At breakfast, they will continue to serve quiches, fresh fruit and sandwiches. Lunch includes a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads.  

“We figured, let’s just do what we do best,” Patti said. 

The Savonas kept the former location at 220 W. Second Street and gave it a new name. La Dolce Galleria is where you can get their popular gelato and homemade desserts. Artwork will be available to purchase at both locations. 

“I come from a family of painters,” Patti said. “There was very little Lakeside artwork available when we started the business, and we want to keep that going.” 

Ooh La La has had some famous customers stop by. John Tesh and Peter Noone have ordered meals and Tony Danza gave a shout-out during his show in Hoover Auditorium last summer. Before a performer takes the stage, many times their meal comes from Ooh La La. 

“We’ve done that a lot,” Mike said. “They eat behind the auditorium and we provide the food.” 

Ooh La La will be open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. during the season and La Dolce’s tentative hours are 6-9 p.m., but it may stay open later during certain Hoover shows. 

The Savonas have been coming to Lakeside since 1990 and always thought it would be a great place to start a business. After 17 years, Ooh La La continues to thrive and they enjoy being a part of Lakeside. 

“It’s the atmosphere that makes Lakeside special,” Patti said. “When you come through the gates, it’s just that feeling that you can’t replicate, and Lakeside is even better because you’ve got great people and you’ve got enough things to keep you busy, but not terribly busy.”