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Olive Garden In Harlem Grand Opening Today

13 Dec

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for. It’s the grand opening of Olive Garden in Harlem at 100 W. 125th St. If you grew up in Harlem like I did you know how Harlem used to look and what a big difference it is now. Who would ever think we would have a Olive Garden in Harlem or for that case any of the stores and restaurants that are there now? If my father, great grandmother and grandmother could see it now. 

Yesterday, December 12 was the ribbon cutting ceremony and city officials, in partnership with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce. came out and supported General Manager, Daryl Cunningham whose been with Olive Garden for 12 years. There was a live band, food and great conversation wishing Daryl success and supporting the restaurant by coming back to dine with friends and family. It was a great turn out. 

The new restaurant will feature an updated design with new artwork, fabrics and materials, lighting, seating, countertops and flooring, as well as a display of the new “Olive Garden Italian Kitchen” logo sign. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant will accommodate more than 300 guests and will create more than 170 new jobs for the surrounding community. Prior to the opening, the Harlem Olive Garden restaurant hosted Friends and Family events with free meals and proceeds benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem.

The Harlem restaurant, Olive Garden’s third location in New York City, features 19 bar tables, more than twice the number in a typical Olive Garden. It also has an elegant wine wall that reinforces the integral role wine plays in Italian dining.

The thing that excites me most about NROs (New Restaurant Opening) is the opportunity it gives us to add value and exposure to both the community and our company,” said General Manager Daryl Cunningham at the Harlem restaurant. “So much effort goes into selecting great new team members who reflect the best each new community has to offer, and I love watching them grow!”

Olive Garden’s menu continues to feature guest favorites, such as the Lasagna Classico and unlimited Soup, Salad and Breadsticks, as well as new Lighter Italian Fare dishes, like Shrimp Scampi and Chicken Piccata, inspired by the Mediterranean region of Italy. Additionally, guests can enjoy new innovations, such as the Grilled Chicken Piadina and the Spicy Calabrian Chicken Breadstick Sandwich.

I have quite a few favorites to share with you when you come to the restaurant. Just ask me and don’t forget dessert. 

I attended another event Olive Garden had in the summer on the High Line and that’s where I met Daryl Cunningham. He mentioned Olive Garden was coming to Harlem and I told him I would love to be part of the restaurant and applied for a job and now I am proud to be a Certified Host. So come bring your family and friends and join us. Experience a family friendly restaurant, very delicious food, great ambience and the best friendly staff and service you ever had. 

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this event. This is not a compensated post. Opinions are mine 100% as always. My employment with Olive Garden did not have an influence on my opinions. I am writing this post as a blogger. Some pictures courtesy of Hubert Williams.


14 May

The day had finally come for my daughter and I to sink our teeth into a @HarlemShake burger, fries, and milkshake of course. Today was the soft opening and we were glad to be on the list. We had a 12:00 RSVP and got there about 10 minutes early where I was able to take pictures of the outside which looked very inviting. Once inside I realized this wasn’t your typical manufactured fast food joint. This is that diner that you want to come back to with your family, friends, and co-workers. There are plenty of stools at the counter, or at the window if you want an outside view. There are booths and tables and I also found out that there will be even more tables when they open up the gigantic doors and have sidewalk dining. That will be great for the summer!!

I ordered a mini cheeseburger for my daughter with fries of course and a vanilla shake. I had a cheeseburger with everything and shared fries with my daughter. Can I just say our plates were completely empty. My daughter said “I want more burgers and fries”. Everything was fresh. The fries seasoned just right, the milkshake not too thick or sugary which was perfect for my daughter. Juicy burgers from fresh ground delivered everyday. No frozen patties ever!! Prices are reasonable and worth every penny.

There is music and I was singing every song that came on because it was old school. My daughter said “you know that song mommy?” I smiled and said yes, then continued jamming.

The staff was very friendly and welcoming and made sure we were happy and satisfied with our food and that we would be returning. You don’t have to ask me twice. My family and I will return.

There was still work being done but despite all of that we enjoyed ourselves and we were very happy when we found out we were the first customers in Harlem Shake to walk through the door, order food, and eat. We felt like celebrities. Maybe our picture will be on the wall next to the celebrities. Hint, hint. 🙂

Harlem Shake is here to stay and I’m glad they aren’t too far from me. The neighborhood needed this and I encourage everyone to go visit and get your shake on and tell them I sent you!! 🙂 Enjoy the pictures!!