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Olive Garden to open in September

Workers finish the parking lot of the new Olive Garden near The Albany Mall. The restaurant, part of the Darden restaurant group, is scheduled to open at 11 a.m., on Sept. 10. It is expected to generate 180 new jobs for the area.

Workers finish the parking lot of the new Olive Garden near The Albany Mall. The restaurant, part of the Darden restaurant group, is scheduled to open at 11 a.m., on Sept. 10. It is expected to generate 180 new jobs for the area.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Olive Garden restaurant near The Albany Mall is scheduled to open Sept. 10.

The parking lot and sidewalks, still under construction, will be completed soon, according to Kevin Young, superintendent of Ganaway contracting, a construction firm from Alpharetta.

According to Tara Gray, manager for media and communications at Olive Garden corporate offices, Kenneth Hall will serve as general manager for the new restaurant, with servers and kitchen help soon to be selected. The Albany Olive Garden will generate 180 new local jobs.

"The 7,441 square-foot facility will host up to 246 guests and features a design inspired by traditional farmhouses found in Tuscany, Italy," Gray said.

Olive Garden has been on the "most wanted" list of many residents for a number of years. In February , Darden, parent company of Olive Garden and other restaurant brands including Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, began demolition of The Inn at Albany Mall, which it had purchased, to make way for the new restaurant.

According to Gray, Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 750 restaurants, 90,000 employees and $3.5 billion in annual sales.

Comments

SMHgain 2 years ago

Probably be next September before you'll be able to get a table without a half hour or longer wait. I will definitely try the new restaurant in the near future.

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tknotty 2 years ago

watch out for the number of wrecks

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

What is the big deal with you all being so crazed over Olive Garden? The food is no better than Johnny Carinos. Why not push for Carrabba's, Macaroni Grill, Cheesecake Factory, or Bonefish Grill? I'm not being negative, just wondering what is the big deal.

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LuLu 2 years ago

IMO, the food is far better than Johnny Carino's. And maybe you're lucky enough to get to travel to other cities and get to experience different restaurants. But some of us are homebodies and are excited about it. Let us have something to look forward to. God knows we need something positive and uplifting around here.

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tywebb 2 years ago

The calamari at carino's is top notch. other stuff is good, but i have yet to find any calamari comparable in these parts

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

Try the calamari at Bonefish...

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

Eh, Macon and Tallahassee are the closest. Definitely worth the drive.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

LuLu, you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. I'm glad we are getting another sit-down restaurant. After the years of rumors and requests Olive Garden is finally here.

I'm asking why not push for something a little nicer than Olive Garden?

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Fletch 2 years ago

Carrabas, Mac Grill, ... and BONEFISH?!! I have eaten at all of them and they are great but, with the demographics of this welfare city the avg. check at these particular places would be too expensive for the "majority" of Albanians and the establishment would close within 18 mos.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

There are enough people that live in the Albany area to sustain those restaurants. Macon has two of those listed and they both have a 45 minute to 2 hour wait every night. People will drive from out of town to eat at those establishments. Macon has the exact same problem which is plaguing Albany.

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Shinedownfan 2 years ago

A few months after the Olive Garden opens, Johnny Carino's will close. Only been there once, have heard too many horror stories about them. :(

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

I say 3 months.......4 at the most.

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Hoodie 2 years ago

6 months before it's robbed?

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waltspecht 2 years ago

I would beg to differ on your comment about Johnny Carino's versus Olive Garden. I certainly wouldn't drive to another town to go to Johnny Carino's, and I have for Olive Garden. I will take what we get, and haven't pushed for anything. My dollars support what I enjoy, and that isn't Johnny Carino's.

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jglass 2 years ago

I will support Olive Garden as I enjoy their food. I just hope Albany has the proper people to staff the restaurant..................

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

Exactly!

People don't know how to work in the service industry anymore. But in their defense, customers are getting ruder each year.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

It's all about the hired staff at ANY restaurant. I hope Olive Garden will be able to hire people that give a crap. Unlike Johnny Carino's. Bo Henry knows how to hire people who don't mind working. Why not put him in charge of the hiring for O-G?

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Engineer 2 years ago

Yeah, I know what you mean. Bad and/or rude staff have turned me off of several restaurants around Albany.

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Shinedownfan 2 years ago

We go to Loco's every week. They have GREAT service!

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Agree! And great Wheelchair Access!

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FryarTuk 2 years ago

Olive Garden's salads and lasagna are really good. The wine list and especially their house Chianti selections are above average. Most of their wines are served by the glass and that makes a meal's cost reasonable. The comment about the imperative of good staff is certainly true. Pleasant servers make a night out more enjoyable and create repeat customers. Bo Henry does have excellent staff at all of his sites.

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TrixibelleBento 2 years ago

The place is going to be slammed for the first few months. During the time that everyone is going crazy for the OG, I'll be able to get into any of the other surrounding restaurants with no wait, so I'll patronize them until the craziness dies down a bit.

Plus, with any new restaurant opening, there are kinks to be worked out. The first few days will be a big ole mess while the staff learns how to work together and the kitchen staff learns how to turn out the consistency that we're all used to. I'm going to stay away for a bit until all that stuff gets hashed out and everyone stops fighting over breadsticks.

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Mr_Heatmiser 2 years ago

Ehh, I dunno. The seafood version of Olive Garden...Red Lobster...has been there for a jillion years and it's still packed every night of the week. As long as folks continue to crave mediocre but predictable chain food, the "craziness" won't ever really die down.

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VSU 2 years ago

When Buffalo Wild Wings opened up there were cars parked everywhere. I can imagine what it will be like when O.G. opens up and the traffic accidents waiting to happen around that intersection as people drive in, out and around that area. May be safer to stay away from that area the first few days.

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Cartman 2 years ago

I'm still waiting for the crowd to dwindle at Buffalo WW before I try it out.

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iko 2 years ago

There was a banner out front seeking job applicants. I have called Code Enforcement to point out this violation of our sign ordinance. I insist that they harrass this business and stop it from hiring people.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years ago

Thank you, iko. I feel safer now that you have called code enforcement.

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GAgranny 2 years ago

I have only been to Carino's a few times and have been unhappy with the food. I am one of those who have patiently been waiting for Olive Garden to come to Albany. OG has a wide selection of dishes to chose from their menu. They have the best salad and breadsticks. I will wait a month before I go eat there however every OG that I have gone to is busy all the time. Best news, if you are not an OG fan, you still have Carino's.

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