City's First Olive Garden Likely Delayed Until Spring, Alderman Says

By Victoria Johnson on November 11, 2013 9:02am | Updated on November 11, 2013 9:08am

 Olive Garden is known for its breadsticks and salads.
Olive Garden is known for its breadsticks and salads.
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Olive Garden

AVONDALE — City dwellers hoping to get in on that soup, salad and bread stick special will have to wait as Chicago's first Olive Garden won't likely open until next spring.

The restaurant, first announced by Ald. Rey Colon (35th) last spring, is set to be built in an auxiliary parking lot for the Kmart at 3443 W. Addison St.

Plans were to have the 7,700-square-foot, $1.2 million restaurant built over the summer, but Colon said last week there were some delays in hammering out details.

As of last month however, the project had gotten the go-ahead from both the city's Planning and Zoning commissions and is now in the permit phase.

"It is back on track and it is moving forward so I'm happy to report that it looks as though the deal is pretty much on it's way, and we'll have city's first Olive Garden," Colon said.

Getting construction permits is no quick task though, Colon noted. There are landscape designs and construction plans to be submitted and additional review processes to go through. But the alderman said the project he has supported from the onset is over the biggest hump.

"There's probably still a few months ahead of them, but I think we can look to ground being broken in spring," he said.

Representatives from Olive Garden's parent company, Darden Enterprises, have promised to hire locally — some 100 full- and part-time employees — and support community programs.

A spokeswoman for the Orlando-based Italian restaurant chain has not responded to requests for comment.

Though there are 10 Olive Garden restaurants in nearby suburbs, this will be the first one in the city.

 The city's first Olive Garden was scheduled to be built in an auxiliary K-Mart parking lot over the summer, but permit delays have slowed the project.
The city's first Olive Garden was scheduled to be built in an auxiliary K-Mart parking lot over the summer, but permit delays have slowed the project.
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DNAInfo/Victoria Johnson

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