Olive Garden opening Monday in South Strabane

December 7, 2012

A taste of Tuscany will soon be a dining option in Southwestern-most Pennsylvania.

Olive Garden Italian Restaurant will open at 11 a.m. Monday in South Strabane Township. The facility, at 371 Washington Road, will be the latest of more than 800 in the chain and the only Olive Garden in Washington or Greene counties.

The nearest ones for Washington and Greene residents – for the next two days – are in Bethel Park, Green Tree, Robinson (Allegheny County), The Highlands shopping complex near Wheeling, W.Va., and Morgantown, W.Va.

Pasta, of course, is Olive Garden’s specialty. But it also is known for its homemade soups, garden salads and warm garlic breadsticks,

Built at the front of The Foundry, near the existing Max & Erma’s restaurant, the local Olive Garden is offering opportunities for people seeking food and/or work. It has 7,441 square feet of space, with seating for 246 guests and a decor replicating a typical Tuscan farmhouse. The exterior is stone, and some initiatives are green: recycled building materials, larger windows allowing more natural light, landscaping requiring minimal water usage and energy-efficient equipment.

The restaurant is hiring 170 and is accepting applications.

Jerry Guire is the general manager at the South Strabane site. Guire, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from West Virginia University, is coming from the Morgantown restaurant, where he was culinary manager. He has been with Olive Garden for five years, and in 2011 won the company’s top honor, the Diamond Club Award, which goes to general managers who provide a pleasant dining experience while achieving financial success.

Hours at the Olive Garden will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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