ORLANDO, Fla.– Olive Garden will open at 4637 E. Sam Houston Parkway S. in Pasadena, Texas on Monday, August 20 at 11 a.m.— creating 180 new jobs. The Olive Garden in Pasadena is the newest Olive Garden in the family of more than 750 local restaurants committed to providing every guest with a genuine Italian dining experience.
The 7,441 square-foot restaurant can host up to 246 guests and features a design that is inspired by traditional farmhouses found in Tuscany, Italy. Olive Garden design teams traveled to Italy to work with Italian architects Fabio and Lucia Zingarelli and the result is a restaurant design that recreates the warmth and simple beauty of a Tuscan farmhouse.
The Pasadena Olive Garden has a rustic stone exterior, typical of the buildings in the Italian countryside, and an interior accented by Italian imports designed to make the dining experience here a tribute to the restaurant’s Italian inspiration. Ceilings supported by exposed wood beams, stone and wood accents throughout, and terra cotta tile highlight the interior.
In addition, the bar top is crafted from lava stone and hand-painted by artisans in Italy with a design created exclusively for Olive Garden. Vibrant imported fabrics decorate windows and dining seats, while hand-painted plates adorn rustic stone and stucco walls.
The restaurant also will feature a number of sustainable design elements, including recycled building materials, enlarged windows to increase natural light, low-water landscaping and energy-efficient equipment. These enhancements are part of the Sustainable Restaurant Design initiative launched by Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden’s parent company.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the Pasadena restaurant and a great team at Olive Garden,” said Rick Perras, newly named general manager.“In addition to our Italian specialties, including signature items like our homemade soups, garden fresh salad and warm, garlic breadsticks, the menu at the Pasadena Olive Garden will feature limited time offers like our Never Ending Pasta Bowl, which allows guests to order any pasta and sauce combination and receive unlimited refills.”
Perras brings extensive restaurant industry experience to his new position. He has been with Olive Garden for 22 years, most recently as general manager of the Olive Garden located at 12711 Gulf Freeway in Houston.
In 2000, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2012, Perras received a Diamond Club Award, the company’s top honor, which recognizes general managers who receive outstanding results in delighting guests with a genuine Italian dining experience and achieve top financial performance.
To recognize Perras’ role as head of the Olive Garden family in Pasadena and to emphasize the importance the company places on its general managers, Olive Garden honored Perras by setting his name in stone. Travertine marble imported from Tuscany was chiseled with Perras’ name and placed prominently by the restaurant’s front door.
Olive Garden is now accepting applications for employment. To be considered for an interview, please apply online at www.OliveGarden.com/Careers
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 750 restaurants, more than 90,000 employees and more than $3.5 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a member of the Darden family of restaurants (NYSE:DRI), the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company. In 2012, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the second year in a row and is the only full-service restaurant company to ever appear on the list. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, the Pasadena Olive Garden will participate in the Darden Harvest program, which has donated more than 50 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com