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How often would you eat at Olive Garden if they opened one in Lawrence?

Response Percent Votes
Often
 
30% 770
Sometimes
 
27% 705
Never
 
24% 609
Rarely
 
17% 436
Total 2520

Comments

MISTERTibbs 3 years, 10 months ago

Depends on if they get the abatement they are asking for. If they do - Never, if not sometimes.

Eileen Jones 3 years, 10 months ago

My thoughs too, I'll boycott them if they demand a handout to come here.

Unless they are going to share their profits with the city, they don't need a handout from the taxpayers.

scopi_guy 3 years, 10 months ago

I can buy sauce in a jar at the grocery.

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes there are so many real Italian joints in town.

ksjayhawk74 3 years, 10 months ago

I really like the idea of an Olive Garden in Lawrence. The Masonic Temple on Mass. St would make a great location for one.

lfsswimmer 3 years, 10 months ago

its a good idea but i don't think that at big chain resturant like will do very good downtown plus there is not enough parking round there. probably the best place for them is the old bambino's building across the street from mass street dillions. but i don't see a big chain resturant like that coming to own because they like to have big signs that can be seen from a distance, and city commision wont allow big signs like that. I was supprised when they let famous daves move into town but if it does come into town i'd love to go there.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 10 months ago

The lunch salad and soup special is pretty good - sometimes. It's rather hit and miss, though. Sometimes it's really good.

KansasBard 3 years, 10 months ago

I'd rather get a Popeye's Fried Chicken in town.

Nathan Atchison 3 years, 10 months ago

sweet jesus bring me a popeyes so i can die fat, young, and happy. (((sound of homer drooling)))

Randy Erickson 3 years, 10 months ago

their red beans and rice is phenomenal for a fast food place. that's the only thing i've ever eaten there!

gccs14r 3 years, 10 months ago

Hurk. I tried to eat at a Popeye's one time. That was easily the worst excuse for food that has ever been foist upon me. Every part of it was inedible. The design of the restaurant and the enormous line out the door prevented me from returning the meal for a refund, so I ended up tossing it in the trash and went hungry.

Clark Coan 3 years, 10 months ago

There already is a bbq place with a drive thru at 9th & iowa.

Synjyn Smythe 3 years, 10 months ago

Olive Garden in Topeka is OK. However, with Paisano's in Lawrence, do we really need Olive Garden essentially across the street??? What we really need here is some outstanding fried chicken restaurants like they have in southeast Kansas!! Once you've eaten that, KFC just ain't makin' it anymore!!!

Dee Harrell-Schneck 3 years, 10 months ago

Paisano's - seriously? Overpriced, horrible service & "eh" food. We've given them so many tries & they've failed miserably every time. Let's get a Fazoli's!

sourpuss 3 years, 10 months ago

Agreed. Paisano's was easily the most overpriced, terrible Italian I have had in a long time. The noodles were undercooked and left to dry out, the sauce was thin, they were stingy with the bread. In fact, after I ate there last time, I hated it so much that I didn't have any Italian food for three months before I realized that when I make it at home it is edible. Still, those chewy, glutenous noodles haunt me.

bevy 3 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for posting that, I was trying to remember the names of the two places. Which one won the Food Wars episode? Do you know?

bigdave 3 years, 10 months ago

Love me some Go Chicken Go!!!! I can eat there Gizzards and hot sauce every day!

outtatowntownie 3 years, 10 months ago

I went to Stroud's once and was thoroughly unimpressed. The chicken was okay, not great, and the sides were blah.

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

Stroud's is top 5 KC, has a place at Kaufman Stadium, and was there (Fairway) two weeks ago. Expensive, but outstanding.

Clark Coan 3 years, 10 months ago

Can't expect much from corporate chains.

overthemoon 3 years, 10 months ago

was great when they first opened...then it got blandized. not so great anymore.

Thinking_Out_Loud 3 years, 10 months ago

Sadly, I agree. Romano's Macaroni Grill was exceptional as a small chain; is average as a larger chain.

Thinking_Out_Loud 3 years, 10 months ago

Sadly, I agree. Romano's Macaroni Grill was exceptional as a small chain; is average as a larger chain.

WaxAndWane 3 years, 10 months ago

"Whenever our family comes to visit from Italy, we take them to The Olive Garden!" (and the Italian relatives then vow never to come back to America). - "It's real Italian food at it's best!" (yeah, fried cheese apps and a dessert called chocolate lasagna. Just like Grandma Porcelli used to make!)

5thgeneration 3 years, 10 months ago

I wouldn't set a foot in it.

I try to avoid corporate chain restaurants.

notanota 3 years, 10 months ago

Yes, we're soooo deprived of dining. Which is why I'm forced to choose between truffle fries, sushi, or several varieties of locally made pizza. Oooh, will the torture never stop!

password 3 years, 10 months ago

lol ! he said Popeyes Chicken and then fine dining. we like to "fine dine" at whatever we can afford.

Keith 3 years, 10 months ago

If they don't get their sneaky tax, maybe. If they get their sneaky tax, never.

dogsandcats 3 years, 10 months ago

I can make my own Italian food that is much better than Olive Garden's.

ferrislives 3 years, 10 months ago

If they brought a Churches Chicken or a Chick-fil-A, I'd be thrilled.

overthemoon 3 years, 10 months ago

Chick-fil-a is a big donor and supporter of the dominionist right. With a name like 'churches', maybe that one is, too.

Gene Wallace 3 years, 10 months ago

Much too big a word, call them "Theocrats".

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

Chick-ful skipped the legal beagles and simply installed one on the KU campus.

Melanie Birge 3 years, 10 months ago

Oh plz bring it in! It will help create new jobs as well!

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

It seems to me that it should be on the developers who want tax breaks to show that there will be a net gain in jobs, and what kind of jobs.

notanota 3 years, 10 months ago

It only creates new jobs if it also brings in new money - ie people driving from out of town to dine there. Since OG is hardly a novelty for KC and Topeka peeps, I doubt this will happen. It's just going to poach existing jobs from the Paisanos across the street it aims to kill.

3 years, 10 months ago

Olive Garden. A little taste of Italy in Lawrence...

Not really. Just a taste of corporate marketing for people that would like to THINK it's Italian. If you like Applebee's, you'll LOVE Olive Garden.

Sorry, they won't be getting a nickel of my money. Plenty of great locally owned places to frequent.

Evan Ridenour 3 years, 10 months ago

Olive Garden is gross. Such poor quality. Not even remotely real Italian food... I'd rather eat at that Italian place in the gas station then spend a dime at an Olive Garden.

Jeteras 3 years, 10 months ago

screw a bunch of Italian foods,, Bring that OKLAHOMA JOES over here!!! smothered ribs served on newspaper mmmmmmmmm and New Orleans Original Daiquiris in the back

melott 3 years, 10 months ago

Probably not, unless they get city welfare. In that case, definitely not.

equalaccessprivacy 3 years, 10 months ago

Olive Garden has/had a franchise in The Underground of Wescoe Hall. It seems popular.

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 3 years, 10 months ago

I think equalaccessprivacy means Chick-fil-a.

lwctown 3 years, 10 months ago

How about they put in a McMinnamans in the Masonic Hall on Mass.....

Kirk Larson 3 years, 10 months ago

I thought they should make it into a music venue, drop the MA to make it SONIC TEMPLE.

overthemoon 3 years, 10 months ago

Ha!! Good one...just cover over the MA with some cool lighting or something!

rockchalker52 3 years, 10 months ago

The only OG I've ever frequented is the one near 95th & Metcalf in Overland Park. I've dined there maybe a half dozen times in the last ten years. I always had a nice time & enjoyed the food. I get a chuckle out of the folks who turn up their collective nose at the supposedly sub-par offerings. It doesn't matter if it's authentic or not. It tastes good.

I don't remember this sort of backlash when On The Border showed up. Their food tastes good, too, but it's probably not real high in authenticity either.

Not every meal has to be a culinary orgasm, folks.

notanota 3 years, 10 months ago

It's not the food. It's the sneaky tax.

notanota 3 years, 10 months ago

I'm not saying I want their reheated-from-frozen breadsticks. I'm saying that I wouldn't care if they wanted to build one here if they weren't demanding a sneaky tax to do it.

Oh, and every once in a while I do get a Subway sandwich, because I don't feel like waiting for one at Yellow Sub. I guess I'll have to turn in my foodie badge on foursquare. hangs head in shame.

gccs14r 3 years, 10 months ago

OTB is someplace else we won't go to. We used to go on occasion, until we learned the hard way that the "custom" burrito starts life as a premade block of frozen dreck.

average 3 years, 10 months ago

That's because On The Border pays their gorram taxes. No sneaky kickback tax district. No abatement. Just playing under the exact same rules I'd have to play by if I started a restaurant.

If it's a choice between a reheated chain that also pays property tax to fund the schools and a reheated chain that doesn't (increasing mill levies for those of us that do pay property tax), I'll choose the former. Every. Single. Time.

3 years, 10 months ago

I would rather have red lobster come to town.

overthemoon 3 years, 10 months ago

ooh yea! love that fish from china and thailand that isn't fit for human consumption due to the disgusting way its raised in polluted water. better off eating catfish from the Kaw.

Gene Wallace 3 years, 10 months ago

You mean Tilapia? Saw a documentary showing Tilapia being "raised" in a sewage treatment facility. No tilapia for me, forever!

TopJayhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Red Lobster and OG are owned by the same company... And both serve premade meals out of bags.. All they do is nuke it up on the premises. Not bad for frozen food, but would rather have it made fresh if that is what I am paying for.

Johnny Carinno's is far better for chain food.

jlzack 3 years, 10 months ago

Red Lobster is just a glorified "Long John Silver"

Kirk Larson 3 years, 10 months ago

It'll make it easier to get a table at Paisanos'

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 10 months ago

Moot question. The city manager is instructing the clueless, lame, gutless commissioners to squelch this one, it might compete with Schumm's greasy spoon in Beautiful Downtown Lawrence. Never gonna happen, nothing good ever gets past our (at large elected) city kommission.

HRCJJ 3 years, 10 months ago

I make better "Italian" food at home.

Lawrence Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

A lot of the places suggested by the commenters have large portions of fat in their foods, and it's not olive oil either. They also make fun without any basis whatsoever, which is the case in so many Journal World postings. I would like to see postings directed to the topic of the article. It seems to me that many of these people just want to see themselves in print. But to my point of view, that only makes them more ridiculous. Why not use real names, so that people can't hid behind lack of originality?

juxtaposed 3 years, 10 months ago

Where's your real name? Is it hiding behind your post that has nothing to do with this topic?

LadyJ 3 years, 10 months ago

My daughter and I loved going to Sweet Tomatoes in Overland Park. It's been years though since we've been there.

scopi_guy 3 years, 10 months ago

I like going there too. I wonder about their soups, but they always taste good and are hot. Cinzetti's is good too, especially for a buffet (of sorts).

Kaw Pickinton 3 years, 10 months ago

Anthony Bourdain on Olive Garden: "That. Is. Not. Italian. Food. It may sound Italian, but so does chlamydia. That's not any good, either."

It's crap.

Fine, build it. I'm sure it will be busy as hell but so is Famous Dave's. Hereford House had WAY better food for $3-5 more but people would rather fill a parking lot to eat swill than actually eat good food in this town.

Liberty275 3 years, 10 months ago

Idiots. Its 30 service industry jobs your neighbors need to pay their mortgages. Who cares if the food is five star?

BruceWayne 3 years, 10 months ago

and anything to clean up that corner is ok with me.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

Except that the vast majority, if not all, of the employees, will almost undoubtedly be students, not adult homeowners.

And the jobs may very likely simply be shuffled about from place to place, and thus not be "more" jobs at all.

Liberty275 3 years, 10 months ago

There is more to a restaurant than the pretty college girls working the door.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

What would you say the percentage of full-time jobs with benefits in restaurants is?

I'd say it's quite low, especially in Lawrence.

Barry Watts 3 years, 10 months ago

Which is better? A job without benefits or no job at all?

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

For most people, a job is better, of course.

I was responding to Liberty's claim that this will provide homeowners with income to pay their mortgages.

I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of jobs at a new OG will not be that sort of job.

gccs14r 3 years, 10 months ago

Texas Roadhouse was good when it first opened over there, but after they established themselves the quality fell off a cliff.

SpeedRacer 3 years, 10 months ago

Merchants on the City Commission don't like competition.

Ralph Vickers 3 years, 10 months ago

We need a DENNY'S here, not another so-so eating place.

Laura Wilson 3 years, 10 months ago

Boy are we a bunch of snobs! Have any of you considered that Olive Garden is cheaper than Tellers or Genoveses or even Paisanos? Not everyone can afford to eat at Pachamamas once a month! But most people can afford to eat at Applebees or Olive Garden.

I love the wide variety in both food and prices we have here in Lawrence and have eaten at restaurants of all kinds. I've never had a bad meal at Olive Garden. Is it "authentic" Italian? Well, no. Neither is most of the Italian at any of the other restaurants we have here, but it's not bad food.

Cai 3 years, 10 months ago

...Just as a point, Pacamama's is not even in the same class as Paisano's, Teller's, or Genovese. If you can afford Olive Garden, you can afford Paisano's.

Pricing on various dinner items: Basic, no meat Pizza: OG: 11.25 Paisano's: 9.99

Alfredo, no meat: OG: 11.75 Paisano's: 10:49

Chicken Parmesan: OG: 13.50 Paisano's: 14.99

OG doesn't lose every time, but all the prices are w/in $2 of each other, with an even mix of which is cheaper.

(prices taken from the topeka olive garden's website and the paisano's lawrence website)

I can't stand the OGs I've been to, but that's a matter of personal preference. However, arguing that the OG is cheaper than Pachamama's doesn't really compare the correct restaurant's competition.

Scott Morgan 3 years, 10 months ago

ditto, and better than most of the times I tried those places.

scopi_guy 3 years, 10 months ago

Many people would eat a cat turd if it were deep fat fried, wrapped in bacon, or served with a side of ranch dressing. The thing is...do you really want to leave your car unattended for a couple of hours in a parking lot in that area?

notanota 3 years, 10 months ago

In-And-Out. They actually pay their employees decent wages and make the food fresh.

Irenaku 3 years, 10 months ago

My kid and I jokingly call Pachamamma's the "rich white people's restaraunt", given that every time we walk past, all we see are rich white people who looked overly-hygenic and tailored like they stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad. I don't think I could afford to change my mind in that joint. Sadly, however, my parents came to town to visit and were walking downtown with us, and I heard my dad say to my mom as we walked past Pach: "honey, isn't that the place where we had dinner last time we were in town?" Aggghhh!

gccs14r 3 years, 10 months ago

It's not that expensive. I paid for dinner for 12 after my wedding and it was less than $500, including drinks, dessert, tax, and tip.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 10 months ago

The smug cloud here is pretty thick. I love whenever these topics is discussed because it doesn't take long for the "I don't eat in chain restaurant" snobs to come out of the woodwork. Yes, I'm sure your locally sourced, free range veggie burger with soy aioli is quite the treat - but not everyone eats like you and the restaurant market in Lawrence should (ideally) cater to the widest range of tastes possible.

Olive Garden is what it is and anyone who pretends it is fine dining - or judges it by those standards - is misinformed. Olive Garden is inexpensive Italian-ish dining. It will do well in Lawrence with people looking for inexpensive pasta (i.e. students, families). Do you people really think that an Olive Garden will cannibalize market share from Paisano's or Tellers? Really? Are you the same people who think that Wal-Mart is competition for local clothing stores? The pricing points are so drastically different that I doubt Olive Garden will have any effect on those two restaurants. Besides, food snobs, Paisano's and Tellers are pretty mediocre...

wildcatfn 3 years, 10 months ago

If the local restaurants were high quality food and service at a fair price point they wouldn't need to worry. Unfortunately, most of Lawrence's affordable restaurants suffer from a college-town mindset: quick food, usually below-average to poor quality, and lousy service.....When even teenage kids can tell the difference between quality at a KFC or BBQ in Lawrence or elsewhere, that's pretty bad. The other day my family went to Set-em-up-Jacks: ordered 2 beef taco salads - both came out with cold meat; I ordered tomato on my sandwich - it was forgotten; had to ask for silverware twice; pop was flat in all our glasses; manager thought he was being impressive by bringing out the new taco salads himself - they forgot the sauce....typical quality and service in most Lawrence places, which is why we almost never eat out in Lawrence anymore....An Olive Garden, if it's up to national chain quality standards, would be a welcome addition. Oh - the KFC was so greasy it gave all of us indigestion or worse....

ScottyMac 3 years, 10 months ago

Um, wouldn't KFC be one of those national chains that, in your view, have such high standards?

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

68% of the vote is not showing a great deal of support.

The restaurant business in Lawrence is a stiff challenge no question about it.

The new residential growth gives a fraudulent appearance. There are a lot of empty bedrooms and homes in Lawrence,Kansas which will not fill up when KU students come back in the fall nor on account of a new olive garden.

This morning I read that 11 million homeowners are on the edge of losing their homes owing more than they can sell for. According to the article that represents 50 million people.

Lawrence Kansas is consistently on the low end of the pay scale. And 12,000 - 15,000 commute to work.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 10 months ago

I place much less importance on these polls than you do, but 65% respondents have answered "sometimes" or "often" and that isn't bad. As usual, however, you choose to focus on the narrative that suits your agenda even when it is clearly false.

Kasha 3 years, 10 months ago

Bob Schumm says he is all for improving attendance and attracting new businesses downtown, no doubt hoping to capture more customers at his restaurant -- whatever the name and location of that is. Yet, he does not want Olive Garden to open a restaurant in Lawrence. From the results of LJ-W poll, he must have been campaigning AGAINST an Olive Garden Restaurant just as he was campaigning FOR his own election to the Ciry Commission as late as 5:00 p.m. in AT LEAST ONE polling place in Lawrence. My personal survey shows an overwhelming preference for not only Olive Garden but Red Lobster to open restaurants here. And these people would as soon these new restaurants be south of 23rd on Iowa. They have no desire to compete with limited or no parking and drunk college kids who dominate downtown. I thought our City Commissioners were supposed to vote in favor of what is best (in their opinion) for Lawrence, and not to push for their individual agendas.

jafs 3 years, 10 months ago

Nobody's forcing them not to come here.

If they like, they can do so.

average 3 years, 10 months ago

"Yet, he does not want Olive Garden to open a restaurant in Lawrence. "

When the f did he say that?

No, really. When? Oh, that's right, he didn't. Damn it, you've made me white-knight Bob flipping Schumm. And I'd eat in an Olive Garden long before I stepped back in the Smokehouse.

He's never said he doesn't want an Olive Garden. He's said he's not going to give them (or, more precisely, a land development speculator) tax breaks that he himself doesn't get. That's about a 'duh' a decision as there can be.

Eileen Jones 3 years, 10 months ago

No abatement.

They'll do fine here, and Lawrence doesn't lack good restaurants so there's no reason for them to demand this.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

The tax incentives should come from the property owners:

  1. lease agreement @ $500.00 per month

  2. Sell the property for $10,000

  3. Pay the taxes for them

  4. give them the property

Or perhaps the real estate industry wants to pay the taxes for them.

NO TAX INCENTIVES from local property owners and certainly NO TAX DOLLAR help from USD 497.

Stephen Roberts 3 years, 10 months ago

Merrill - please buy the property & give it to OG. oh wait that would mean YOU would have to spend YOUR money, it is too bad YOU are not that thirty with the spending on YOUR pet projects.

gl0ck0wn3r 3 years, 10 months ago

lol seriously? The heat must be getting to you while you are out mowing lawns and killing the environment.

hotrod383 3 years, 10 months ago

i have lived in lawrence all my life, and have watched while a few people in the city government dictate what should be here, such as business, eating establishments, etc. what about the citizens of lawrence, no say? when will lawrence be able to have something besides sports bars and high priced places like on mass street ? It is not right that business owners be allowed to say what can come to lawrence because they may lose a dollar. what about the jobs created for the people? why should we have to go to ottawa to work for a good wage or travel to topeka or kc to get something besides fast food or dried out bbg! that lot on south iowa has been vacant for years. an olive garden? that would be awesome. come on city fathers, when are you going to give the public something back besides disappointment.

hotrod383 3 years, 10 months ago

i have lived in lawrence all my life, and have watched while a few people in the city government dictate what should be here, such as business, eating establishments, etc. what about the citizens of lawrence, no say? when will lawrence be able to have something besides sports bars and high priced places like on mass street ? It is not right that business owners be allowed to say what can come to lawrence because they may lose a dollar. what about the jobs created for the people? why should we have to go to ottawa to work for a good wage or travel to topeka or kc to get something besides fast food or dried out bbg! that lot on south iowa has been vacant for years. an olive garden? that would be awesome. come on city fathers, when are you going to give the public something back besides disappointment.

JustNoticed 3 years, 10 months ago

Let me introduce you to your SHIFT keys. You have two: just left of "Z" and just right of "?". Hold it down while you strike another key and see what happens. Just try it randomly at first, don't get bogged down in meaning or anything. It's cool, you'll like it!

hotrod383 3 years, 10 months ago

i have lived in lawrence all my life, and have watched while a few people in the city government dictate what should be here, such as business, eating establishments, etc. what about the citizens of lawrence, no say? when will lawrence be able to have something besides sports bars and high priced places like on mass street ? It is not right that business owners be allowed to say what can come to lawrence because they may lose a dollar. what about the jobs created for the people? why should we have to go to ottawa to work for a good wage or travel to topeka or kc to get something besides fast food or dried out bbg! that lot on south iowa has been vacant for years. an olive garden? that would be awesome. come on city fathers, when are you going to give the public something back besides disappointment.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 10 months ago

The tax incentives should come from the property owners in order to protect taxpayers from reckless tax dollar decisions thus coming up on the losing end.

If the property owners feel so strongly about this real estate deal they should have no problem making it work. Incentives must come from property owners and real estate industry bank accounts.

BigAl 3 years, 10 months ago

I must be an idiot. I like Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Actually, I REALLY like Red Lobster. I like a good greasy cheesburger from the Yacht Club too. I guess I just don't know fine dining. While some of you are fighting this out, I will be having a cold beer and some hot wings from BWW. But, I am sure BWW is terrible also.

Kris_H 3 years, 10 months ago

Too many remarks to read/respond, but I say "never." I'm in Topeka and there's already one here I never go to.

I've been trying to avoid ALL chains and eat at local places instead. Yes, the chains have hired local people, but the profits still go back to the corporation. I'd rather my money go to someone who lives where they earned it.

CreatureComforts 3 years, 10 months ago

"I'd rather my money go to someone who lives where they earned it" - like the people who work in the restaurants, like you mentioned? Who are just out trying to earn their money and happen to be able to find a job, despite this bad economy. They should be punished because they found one at a chain instead of a non-chain?

I'm all for supporting local, but I don't necessarily think chains are all that evil. Their food might not be the best, but neither are a lot of the mediocre locally owned places in Lawrence.

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