So there’s this website that’s been floating around for a few days now — www.olivegardendtla.com — that would at first glance seem to indicate that America’s favorite low-end Italian chain restaurant would be putting down stakes in one of the hippest restaurant stretches of Los Angeles.
Though the site doesn’t offer timing specifics, it does indicate that the new location would be in none other than the old Coca-Cola factory at 4th and Traction, which is one of the most in-demand pieces of real estate down there at the moment. As Curbed notes in its coverage of the rehabbed site, there are plans for offices, a parking structure, and a ‘flagship restaurant’. So could that be Olive Garden?
Beyond the fact that Darden, Olive Garden’s parent company, has been struggling to keep the brand afloat (much less sink in the kind of money necessary for a large restaurant space in the Arts District), the big giveaway is in the photo carousel at the top of the website. Wait long enough, and you’ll stumble upon a photo of a cross-eyed bearded guy downing noodles from a styrofoam cup. There’s no way that’s brand-appropriate.
Still, a pretty solid troll for the Arts District area, which has only been getting more and more self-aware as places like The Springs take over large former warehouses. Eater reached out to Olive Garden for a response, but hasn’t heard back just yet.