Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Planning Commission Approves Restaurants

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Planning Commission Approves Restaurants

Article excerpt

A recommendation for approval was given for two new restaurants on the Northwest Expressway Thursday by the Oklahoma City Planning Commission, including a new Garfield's and an Italian restaurant called Olive Garden.

Approvals included:

- ABC 2 zoning for 6401 Northwest Expressway, Courtyard Plaza, which will be occupied by a licensed Garfield's Restaurant & Pub.

- ABC 3 zoning for 6628 Northwest Expressway owned by Invoil Restaurant OKC Ltd. That site is to be sold to a subsidiary of General Mills Inc. for an Italian restaurant which should open in mid-summer, according to Theresa Nelson, coordinator for Creative Dining Inc.

Nelson said the Olive Garden is a new concept which has been successful in Florida and has moved into eight other states, including one in Tulsa.

"Basically, we're are moving into the areas where Red Lobster (another General Mills subsidiary) restaurants are located. Because we already know the access in those areas, it's easier for us to plan," she said.

The company hopes to have 52 of the Olive Garden restaurants open by mid-summer.

Jim Smelser, principle partner in Oklahoma Kitchens, said the Garfield's restaurant opening is planned for mid-May, "assuming everything goes right in getting all the approvals and permits we need," he said.

Vince Orza, president of Eateries Inc., parent company of Garfields, said Smelzer and Tad Blood have signed agreements to open at least two licensed Garfield's in Oklahoma City and two joint venture restaurants in Tulsa with Eateries Inc.

These two items will be sent to the Oklahoma City Council for action. …

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