Greek Food Truck expands online with vision of brick-and-mortar restaurant

Loves Park, Illinois – The Olive Branch, a popular Greek food truck operating in the Rockford area since 2017, has recently expanded its offerings by launching an online kitchen at Carlson Ice Arena in Loves Park, Illinois. This new venture, which started on Tuesday, enables customers to order the food truck’s signature dishes such as gyro sandwiches, Greek rice bowls, loukoumades, and spanakopita, for curbside pickup. Delivery via DoorDash is set to be added soon.

The additional space provided by the kitchen at Carlson Ice Arena allows The Olive Branch to broaden its menu, with plans to introduce dolmades, stuffed grape leaves with a lemon sauce, and authentic Greek avgolemono soup next week. Future additions might include pastitsio, a Greek take on lasagna, and saganaki, a popular Greek appetizer of pan-seared cheese served with lemon wedges.

The online kitchen operates from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and it will continue to operate year-round, even as the food truck resumes its regular rounds during warmer months. Michele Christidis, one of the individuals behind The Olive Branch, expressed hope that fans of the food truck will embrace this new option as a convenient way to enjoy their favorite dishes without the wait times often associated with peak food truck season.

Additionally, the Rockford-based couple has announced plans to open their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in downtown Beloit, Wisconsin. The restaurant, to be named Kalamata after the olive and the city in southern Greece, will occupy the former space of Fresco Fajita House at 315 S. State St. The previous establishment closed last fall, and renovations are currently underway.

The couple’s vision for the restaurant includes regular counter and carryout service during the week, as well as special reservation-only service on weekends with a Mediterranean dinner menu. This initiative represents a significant step forward for The Olive Branch, as it moves from its successful food truck origins to a permanent location that will showcase the best of Greek cuisine in a new setting.