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westside96

Olive Garden

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I believe Olive Garden will be opening March 19 at 4pm.

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Thats great news. Are they only open for dinner or is it just because its the first day? I'm glad Olive Garden finally decided to come to town. Its my understanding that there was some difficulty in getting them to agree to the location because their "normal" methods for site selection weren't met (traffic counts). I'm hoping that when this thing proves to be a huge success that we will see more restaurants open up around town.

Its too bad we couldn't get something a little less tacky than the standard OG though. Oh well.

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As far as the Olive Garden in Greensboro, I've learned it's not worth the wait. Even on weekday evenings you have a long wait, the parking lot is packed (people parking on the side or in the grass) and it just turns into an abusrd situation. In Charlotte we have 3 so it's a little bit different, but Greensboro definately needs a second one seeing the demand of the first one. I was surprised it took them this long to come to Spartanburg though.

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Oh I know. Every Olive Garden I've ever been to is like that. Thats why I dont understand their issue with location. People clamor over each other to get into this place, so it should be obvious that their restaurants support themselves, not the traffic that passes by. Spartanburg should get another one in Boiling Springs before too long.

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Thats great news. Are they only open for dinner or is it just because its the first day? I'm glad Olive Garden finally decided to come to town. Its my understanding that there was some difficulty in getting them to agree to the location because their "normal" methods for site selection weren't met (traffic counts). I'm hoping that when this thing proves to be a huge success that we will see more restaurants open up around town.

Its too bad we couldn't get something a little less tacky than the standard OG though. Oh well.

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Let me restate what I meant: Boiling Springs will be the next place in Spartanburg to get one, regardless of when it happens.

Columbia has 2 distinct submarkets, the Northeast and Irmo/Northwest. Lexington is emerging as a third. These areas all have the same pull, which is why Columbia has at least two of everything.

Greenville on the other hand has its retail ectivities forced inward. Its focus is Woodruff Rd, which is its primary suburban shopping area. Cherrydale is a strong second, but its not comparable to Woodruff Rd. I think Cherrydale is getting an OG, but you'd need to check the Greenville section to be sure.

Charleston I have no explanation for. They have 3 submarkets. They should have more stores in Mount Pleasant and West Ashley along with their N Chas. locations. they don't though, so who knows.

Spartanburg has 3 distinct submarkets- the Hillcrest, the Westside, and Boiling Springs. Westgate is far and away the #1 market, so most of the new stores go there first. Boiling springs isnt developed enough just yet, but it will start attracting all of the generic suburbia stores that usually go there one the population reaches a certain point and traffic gets so rediculous that they have to widen the road again. Hillcrest is well established but it jsut doesn't have the pull to draw in restaurants like OG at this point due to its relatively limited population and distance from the interstates.

What I dont unerstand is why OG isn't expanding, given that people seem to love their restaurants so much. I mean, that alone is reason enough for most restaurants to expand.

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^^^Thanks for that information, I wasn't aware of the submarkets for the Columbia and Spartanburg metros. Olive Garden is a real mystery. Perhaps the corporation is super sensitive to to the possibility of having to close any of its restaurants due to poor performance, hence their slow expansion. Some companies don't like for any of their facilities to be seen going out of business and therefore a failure that reflects on the company, just a theory.

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Greenville on the other hand has its retail ectivities forced inward. Its focus is Woodruff Rd, which is its primary suburban shopping area. Cherrydale is a strong second, but its not comparable to Woodruff Rd. I think Cherrydale is getting an OG, but you'd need to check the Greenville section to be sure.

...

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All cities have tons of smaller shopping areas/corridors. I'm talking about primary shopping areas.

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I would definitely say Westgate is THE primary shopping area/corridor in Spartanburg then.

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Is that not what I said? I think you better read it again ;)

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That is the funny thing about the low-brow mediocre eatery chains like Olive Gardens. They do have relatively strict market standards, yet I will guarantee that Olive Garden will be packed all day long. No offense Spartanburg County though - but due to a lack of... how do I say this... nationally standardized food that is conformed to the middle class suburban palate. What chains don't understand though - is their true market is really in the lower market tier, not their bread & butter major city suburban share.

Smaller urban areas are not the uneducated poor places they were once thought to be. If I was to invest - I would invest in the smaller markets that have limited chain options.

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^^^^Seems to be occuring. Although this is out of state, Olive Garden recently opened a restaurant in Oxford, Alabama. The Anniston/Oxford area is very small and somewhat growing market with a population of 150,000. I was surprised to see that they did open a restaurant there considering the market's size.

I think Darden, Inc., Olive Garden's parent company, is being very skiddish about oversaturation its product after seeing other companies go bust literally overnight.

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Is that not what I said? I think you better read it again ;)

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Let me restate what I meant: Boiling Springs will be the next place in Spartanburg to get one, regardless of when it happens.

Columbia has 2 distinct submarkets, the Northeast and Irmo/Northwest. Lexington is emerging as a third. These areas all have the same pull, which is why Columbia has at least two of everything.

Greenville on the other hand has its retail ectivities forced inward. Its focus is Woodruff Rd, which is its primary suburban shopping area. Cherrydale is a strong second, but its not comparable to Woodruff Rd. I think Cherrydale is getting an OG, but you'd need to check the Greenville section to be sure.

Charleston I have no explanation for. They have 3 submarkets. They should have more stores in Mount Pleasant and West Ashley along with their N Chas. locations. they don't though, so who knows.

Spartanburg has 3 distinct submarkets- the Hillcrest, the Westside, and Boiling Springs. Westgate is far and away the #1 market, so most of the new stores go there first. Boiling springs isnt developed enough just yet, but it will start attracting all of the generic suburbia stores that usually go there one the population reaches a certain point and traffic gets so rediculous that they have to widen the road again. Hillcrest is well established but it jsut doesn't have the pull to draw in restaurants like OG at this point due to its relatively limited population and distance from the interstates.

What I dont unerstand is why OG isn't expanding, given that people seem to love their restaurants so much. I mean, that alone is reason enough for most restaurants to expand.

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Definitely good news for the Sparkle City but I also don't understand Olive Garden's mo. Why is it that Columbia has two or three but Charleston only has one?

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I'm literally amazed that Olive Garden is just now locating in Spartanburg. Good for them! (and, it's about flippin' time!)

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Just to clarify on sub-markets from a business point of view:

Listed are Mt.Pleasant (suburban city for Charleston) and Irmo (suburban city for Columbia) so you must be looking at "metro" submarkets (not markets within municipal boundaries). Greenville's distinct submarkets are: Haywood Rd / Woodruff Rd / Simpsonville-Fairview-Harrison Bridge / Greer-Taylors-Wade Hampton / Cherrydale-Travelers Rest and lastly Powdersville-Highway 153.

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^ Ummm....yeah, ok....all real logical. Outback and Olive Garden are two DIFFERENT types of restaurants that locate in two different types of areas....yeah, sure, definitely. Greenville is a one horse town. Have to sign off now....have some swampland in Florida to sell. :rofl:

Seriously, stop splitting hairs. If Charleston has Mt. Pleasant (SEPARATE city...suburb), then Greenville has Simpsonville (SEPARATE city....suburb). Makes sense to to me.

Sooooo....Greenville has......Haywood / Woodruff / Greer-Taylors-Wade Hampton / Simpsonville / Cherrydale-Travelers Rest and Powdersville-Easley.

If you don't "count every strip of road" then how are you able to surmise that Charleston has 3 areas and Columbia has 2 and Greenville 1.......that's counting, right? :P

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How did a thread about an Olive Garden turn into a thread about how many major shopping districts each city has? :lol:

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^ Ummm....yeah, ok....all real logical. Outback and Olive Garden are two DIFFERENT types of restaurants that locate in two different types of areas....yeah, sure, definitely. Greenville is a one horse town. Have to sign off now....have some swampland in Florida to sell. :rofl:

Seriously, stop splitting hairs. If Charleston has Mt. Pleasant (SEPARATE city...suburb), then Greenville has Simpsonville (SEPARATE city....suburb). Makes sense to to me.

Sooooo....Greenville has......Haywood / Woodruff / Greer-Taylors-Wade Hampton / Simpsonville / Cherrydale-Travelers Rest and Powdersville-Easley.

If you don't "count every strip of road" then how are you able to surmise that Charleston has 3 areas and Columbia has 2 and Greenville 1.......that's counting, right? :P

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Charleston has 3 major destinations, Rivers Ave (North Charleston), West Ashely, and Mount Pleasant. North Charleston still has the edge on the other two. There isn't as much duplication as Columbia. But Charlestonians view crossing the river as a huge trip, and they are getting more new stores everyday clustering around the Town Center- so I maintain that there are 3 distinct markets to choose from in Charleston. You could actually argue 4, since King St has many stores that a suburban shopping district would have. But thats a unique situation, so we'll stick with 3 for this debate.

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You're definitely correct about that. It'll be interesting to see what goes up next especially with land in that area getting somewhat limited, or is that just my perception or an illusion? I have noticed that yet another shopping center is going up just down the Berlin G. Meyers Parkway from the Lowes/Home Depot and that Hoover car dealership. That particular parcel of land has been vacant every since I can remember. There's an old farm next to it that it seems to be named after. There also seems to be a large acreage of wooded land across the parkway that is underdeveloped and the shopping center you are talking about has yet to be built out. Summerville may soon be able to compete with Mt. Pleasant in terms of being a shopping destination. It would be nice if this area warranted an Olive Garden but I doubt that's likely to happen soon. Mt. Pleasant would be the next logical location for one in the Charleston metro.

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^ As would West Ashley! ;) It does amaze me how S'ville and Mt. P get all the limelight, yet WA gets ignored.

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It would be nice if this area warranted an Olive Garden but I doubt that's likely to happen soon.

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