Ulla Takes On New Life as OLO

Ulla Takes On New Life as OLONew Concept Honours Region’s Trade Hub Roots 


One of Victoria’s renowned and much-beloved dining establishments is undergoing renovations and a rebirth. Ulla restaurant, located in Victoria’s bustling Chinatown, has reopened its door refreshed and with the new OLO moniker.


Opened in 2010 by chef Brad Holmes and partner Sahara Tamarin, ulla has collected numerous accolades and awards. Among them include gold in Vancouver Magazine’s “Best Victoria” restaurant category in 2012 and 2013 and a vote as one of Canada’s best new restaurants by enRoute


Now the ulla team are excited to embark upon a new venture. Chef and owner Brad Holmes is partnering with Kris Barnholden, a friend and former colleague of Holmes, to launch OLO and take the restaurant in a new direction. Holmes and Barnholden will each take on the role of co-owner and chef, and are looking forward to growing the business with plans for future projects.
Opening its door refreshed as OLO, the new focus is on farm-to-table meals created from the bounty the island has on offer. Holmes and Barnholden will fill OLO’s kitchen with quality B.C. ingredients, such as island-raised beef, fish plucked straight from nearby waters, and produce tenderly grown by our local farming friends. Each incorporated ingredient is purchased directly from hard-working neighbours who produce beautiful food with great care.


The bar program also highlights the region’s bounties with an impressive list of B.C. distilleries, breweries and wineries. Perfectly mixed cocktails showcase local producers and ingredients, and boast a variety of whimsical infusions from foraged botanicals, shrubs from house-made vinegars, and healthful tonics from island spring water.


The dining area’s design reflects the agricultural history of Canada with a playful modern twist, cultivating a warm yet lively atmosphere. OLO feels familiar while always offering fresh tastes for locals hungry for more than just a meal. The word “Olo” translates to “hungry” in Chinook Jargon, a derivative language of English, French, Chinese and Chinook. OLO celebrates Cascadia’s role as a cultural melting pot by serving as a hub for neighbours to gather and break bread.
OLO is now open during the week, Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. until midnight, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. for late dinners. Weekend brunch service will begin on March 21; brunch hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are available for dinner bookings, late night and brunch seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. The restaurant is located at 509 Fisgard St., Victoria, B.C. For more information, please call 250-590-8795, or visit OLO’s website at olorestaurant.com.


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