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Restaurants on the move

Restaurants on the moveIt is Thanksgiving week – in other words, the week of the annual family get together.  It is a time to give thanks for all manner of different things, including the meal at home on Thursday and another couple of options when it comes to eating out.

The Olive Garden Italian Restaurant and the Old Mexico Restaurant are to open within one mile and 21 days of one another in South Strabane Township.  Although the Olive Garden Italian Restaurant is a new venture, the Old Mexico Restaurant is essentially reopening following relocation from its former location in the Oak Spring Plaza strip mall, where it has been since its inception 11 years ago back in 2001. The restaurant is relocating to Murtland Avenue, where it opened its doors at 11am yesterday. The move has not affected the restaurant’s specialty, which is, as the name rather suggests, Mexican food.

On December 10th, the Olive Garden Italian Restaurant will open in the Foundry Shopping area located along Route 9.  This is a very popular chain that has more than 750 restaurants and is well known for its highly distinctive architecture, which is referred to as ‘Tuscan farmhouse’.  This will be the very first Olive Garden Italian Restaurant to open in the growing Washington County, with the nearest other sites in this chain being in Bethel Park, Green Tree, Triadelphia and Robinson.  The nearest Olive Garden Restaurant for the great majority of the people in Greene County is located in Morgantown.

The brand new restaurant should be set to spice up life in The Foundry, which since its opening five years ago back in 2007 has found itself positively behest with problems.  The foundations of the mall suffered from subsidence cracks, which forced three retail outlets – Ross Dress For Less, Bed Bath and Beyond, and JC Penney – to leave the mall three years ago back in 2009, with the latter returning to the nearby Washington Mall not long after.

In the meantime, four years ago in May 2008, the developer of the Foundry, Premier Properties USA, went into bankruptcy after its founder, Christopher White, was arrested and charged with fraud and theft.  The Foundry was one of a number of retail projects that became a part of the Chapter 7 liquidation.  The property is now being marketed to several different potential retailers by THF Realty from St Louis.  Olive Garden is located on stable ground, as is Max & Erma’s slightly to the north of the restaurant.  The Olive Garden Italian Restaurant and Max & Erma’s are at present the only businesses operating out of The Foundry.

South of this location is to be a very familiar South of the Border-style restaurant known as Old Mexico.  This restaurant is owned by husband and wife team Fidel and Dora Valdovinos, together with Santiago Solorio from Alabama, who decided to make a move up to the bigger site on the hill that had previously been the location for Chinese restaurant Evergreen.

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