The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 22, 2012

Olive Garden plans await Richland School Board approval

JOHNSTOWN — A national chain is cooking up plans to put two famous eateries on the corner of Eisenhower Boulevard and Theatre Drive.

But for Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse to find a home there, Darden Restaurants must first get permission from the property’s closest neighbor, the Richland School District, because both would seek liquor licenses.

“This is the real deal. Darden is serious about this,” CCN Properties’ Bill Trevorrow said, showing board members plans that call for both restaurants to be built on 6 acres of undeveloped land.

Designs show access to the restaurants at two locations along Eisenhower, while a secondary entrance to the site would run behind Olive Garden and LongHorn from Theatre Drive.

The restaurants’ front doors would face Eisenhower.

State Liquor Control Board law requires school approval prior to license transfer when a property eyed for such use sits next to school land.

In this case, the land borders a Richland practice field and the former Rachel Hill school, which is now used for storage.

Trevorrow said Darden would guarantee the licenses would only be transferred to another family restaurant if one of the eateries were forced to close.

“We want to work with you to make this happen,” Trevorrow added.

The land is designated commercial, which means it is zoned for restaurants and other retail, school district Solicitor Tim Leventry said.

“The important thing to understand is that this isn’t school district property,” Leventry said. “It’s private land.”

An Ohio developer sought to buy the Theatre/Eisenhower tract and 16 acres of school land to build a retail center in the same neighborhood earlier this year.

But it drew opposition from district residents, many of whom said the school should keep its land. The district eventually turned down a $2.1 million offer.

Darden’s plan would bring two popular restaurant concepts to the area.

Olive Garden is perhaps the nation’s most well-known Italian-American-themed family chain.

The eatery markets its Tuscan-style dishes and Italian family dining concept.

The nearest locations are in Hempfield Township, east of Greensburg, and on Pleasant Valley Boulevard, Altoona.

LongHorn was founded in 1981, but received a redesign in late 2007 when it was purchased by the Darden company. The chain has grown steadily since.

It’s known for a menu of fresh, “never frozen” grilled steaks, chicken and fish, Darden’s website shows.

There are now more than 350 locations across the country.

The board is expected to consider the request at its Nov. 13 meeting.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 24, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 24, 2014

  • WilliamsA ‘I thought I was going to die’

    Hornerstown resident Robert “Bobby” Williams said he endured two hours of surgery, suffered a heart attack and fears he may never again be able to fully use his right arm.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    Here are the names of the 10 entrants that were chosen today-April 22, 2014.  If you see your name, call the Circulation Department at 814-532-5000 (#1) or 1-866-307-0905 to verify your information.

    April 22, 2014

  • JFD traing Firefighters practice river rescues

    Johnstown Fire Department members lift a “victim” out of the rescue basket during training Wednesday along the Stonycreek River flood-control wall

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • sewer meeting map Sewer work will tie up traffic

    Brace yourselves.
    This summer’s sewer main replacement project will delay traffic with detours, closed streets and lane restrictions through one of Johnstown’s notoriously snarled neighborhoods.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • USS Somerset USS Somerset arrives at San Diego homeport

    The USS Somerset is home.
    The amphibious transport dock ship named in honor of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 arrived at its new homeport of Naval Base San Diego on Monday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jablonski, Stephen Charges filed in courthouse bomb threat

    A Johnstown man was charged by Ebensburg Borough police Wednesday with threatening to blow up the Cambria County Courthouse, a call he admitted to Ebensburg police he made Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vizza, Peter Vizza voted deputy mayor

    The top vote-getter in last year’s Johnstown City Council election is now also the city’s deputy mayor.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Conemaugh Township rezoning opens business possibilities

    A portion of South Main Street in Davidsville will be rezoned to give greater allowances to the businesses along the road.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sculptor’s work to be raffled off

    The work of a local sculptor will be raffled off during the Art in Bloom show.

    April 23, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads