Friday, July 17, 2009

Olla Podrida

Located at 12215 Coit Road just off LBJ Freeway, Olla Podrida billed itself as "The Working Artists Place." It was more or less a craft mall, although during the mid 1970s it occasionally featured exhibits by well known photographers or folk artists. It closed about 1996 and was demolished some ten years later.

See Best Repurposing of a Crap Mall from 2006.

Many thanks to reader Josh, for the scan of the above brochure, circa 1994. You should be able to click on the images to see them full size.

I found an ad from 1976 listing a number of shops and some of the things you could see, do, or buy at Olla Podrida back then:

1912 Stained Glass Studio - leaded glass lampshade $65
A-B Interior Gallery - a batik painting for $10
Adobe House - a party kit sampler of Mexican snacks $5
A Lot of Racquet - 3 hrs of tennis lessons $19
Antojitos - Mexican hot dogs 75¢ each
The Apple Tree - fresh strawberry parfait 85¢
The Artist - oil portrait $75
The Assayers - a Buffalo nickel 1919-D $6
The Artist’s Eye - eight 2-hour drawing lessons $45
Bebus - gauze blouse withe eyelet lace insets from India $15.95
The Blue Anvil - sterling heart pendant on chain $11
Boogie Bear’s Toy & Friend Factory - stuffed Teddy Bear with your message embroidered on a heart-shaped collar $7.50
Buckle & Abetta Jewelers - 14 kt. gond pendant with cloisonné heart $60
The Busy Needle - custom designed needlepoint canvas from $8
Candy Art, Inc. - big red lollipop for 89 cents
China Belle - handpainted personalized mug $10
The Clock Shop - 100-year-old one-of-a-kind French marble clock, $50
The Copper Kiln - heart-shaped enamel on copper pendant, $4.50
The Copy Shop - old photos copied & restored, from $17
Debacle’s Wine Cellar - wine making kit $12.95
Dos Escultores - handmade jewelry
Eureka / Paper Tiger - baby dragon kite, 25 feet long $5
Final Touch - chambered nautilus shell $7.50
The Front Porch - sand cast candle $6
Geppetto’s - Snoopy hand puppet $6
Gourmet Junction - one lb. mocha java coffee $3.95
Gypsies, Beggars & Thieves - antique type tray $15
Handcrafted Crystal - crystal Cupid’s heart $20
Handmade and Co. - handmade quilt $50
The Hobbit House - handprinted rock with your message $7
Karat Top - one-of-a-kind ruby and diamond ring $600
Kathy Burks Marionettes - puppet show 75¢ on special occasions
Las Manos - four macrame lessons $18
Leather Loft - woman’s all-leather clutch wallet with checkfold $4
The Muffin Tin - fresh baked heart shaped cake $3.95
Olla Pod Gallery - Paolo Soleri bronze bell $5
Originalla - hand embroidered one of a kind cotton dress starting at $49
Patchworks - appliqued work shirts from $35
Pins and Bobbins - white linen handkerchief trimmed in handmade Belgian lace $7.50
The Poet’s Niche - a book of poems $4.75
Portraits by Mary Ann - pastel portraits starting at $15
The Poster Place - framed silkscreen of Robert Indiana’s “Love” graphic $16
Pottery Workshop - eight weeks potter lessons $75
Practical Drawing - a Valentine’s card for 35¢
Put It Together - clam shell music box $16
Rare Things - melon shell heart pendant $17
Reflection Gallery - mirror necklace $10
Shades of Green - a bromeliad (aechmea fasciata purpurea) $12.95
Sounds and Strums - one half hour guitar lesson $6.50
The Silver Mine - sterling silver graduated heist necklace with obsidian, shell, turquoise & ivory $118
Through the Keyhole - handmade doll house $25
Upper Crust - homemade strawberry shortcake 75¢ for big serving
The Woodshed - paintings on wood $150


  1. do you remember the Hobbit store that was there? Do you know where there might be some photos?

  2. If someone could re-incarnate Olla Podrida that would be totally awesome! That was the BEST!

  3. I live in San Antonio, and went there in the mid 70's when my dad was in the Chordsmen Chorus (barbershop). They took the wives and kids by shuttle bus from the hotel. I loved that place and am saddened that it is no longer there.

  4. Does anyone recall the name of the Italian restaurant @ Olla Podrida? HELP, been searching for this for over two years.

  5. I've been looking through old digital newspapers and haven't found anything. I suggest a search of the "restaurant" section of an old Dallas Yellow Pages. I think the Dallas Library has old Yellow Pages, if you're in the area. I found a website that suggested the restaurant might be Corelli's, but I found nothing on Corelli's in the newspaper to confirm it. There's an Olla Podrida page on Facebook - you might ask there.

  6. Marcia, thank you for your efforts. I am not close to the Dallas library but will try to find some in the area that could check it out.

    1. good luck Marilyn. Let us know if you find out. I'm not in Dallas either, else I'd go down there & look.

  7. Marcia, a friend found this on sidedish. It was Carelli's. YAY !!!!!!!!!

  8. The new owner of Valley View Center at Dallas Midtown (fka Valley View Mall) misses Olla Podrida SO much, that he created a funky awesome artist community inside the mall! Over 3 dozen art studios/galleries, unusual delicious eateries, inexpensive fashions from all over the world, thrift stores, massage, salons, gyms, acting/filming/dance lessons, museums, live theatre, and more. Artists are open Tue-Sat 1-6pm. Mall hours are Mon-Sat 10am-9pm & Sun 11am-7pm. And we have this monthly indoor art festival!!! Family friendly. Come on out! :)

  9. Carolyn, thanks! How long has this new area been in place?

  10. The new art scene inside the mall started in 2012 with a co-op volunteer-run gallery "Gallery at Midtown), which is now filled with hundreds of works by over 6 dozen local artists (painting, sculpture, textile art, photography, jewelry, pottery, handbags, clothing, furniture, and more!). One by one, empty stores in the mall were leased to artists and crafters and unique eateries (e.g. kosher pizza/deli, Nammi food truck cafe, street tacos, quesadilla cafe, philly cheesesteak & grill, seafood, steak, fruiterra, etc.). Every bit of the bottom 2 floors is worth exploring, as we have a definite mixture of sights, sounds, flavors, aromas, items and personalities from around the world. Many of the artists and other arts-related tenants also offer workshops for kids and adults (painting, ceramics, sculpting, drawing, mixed media, dancing, acting, film making, etc.). We also host other arts-related events (special exhibits like Dallas Love Project & VECCO's giant handpainted mosaic rug reveal and awards ceremony, gallery/studio tours for seniors, schools, etc., and special events for charities and business groups). You can discover more at,, and on Facebook pages Gallery at Midtown... and Valley View Center. Pop by during artist hours and say hello! My pay-it-forward gallery is next to the AMC stairway (oh, and our AMC theatre tickets are half the price of other AMC's & the show the same latest release movies!). Peace, smiles & Light ~Carolyn

  11. Do you know if there would be a shop like Gypsies, Beggs & Thieves there. I am looking for old wooden printer box Letters. Thanks

  12. My mom's got a picture with Santa at Olla Podrida of me and my sis circa '82-"83. I remember loving going there,but looking at what was sold and prices I am sure we didn't make many purchases! I couldn't afford some of that nowadays.

  13. Still have almost a full pack of Hobbit note cards I bought from the Hobbit House in the late 70's. I miss that place!

  14. this was an amazing place! My favorite artist B. Herd was there and he would sit and let you watch him paint. the stores were like a maze and different levels and it was all magical and beautiful! One guy I remember had his store on the landing of the stairs that dropped from the sides. very special!