Italian restaurant on Golden Strip features a new look

Customers of one of the area’s most popular restaurants may have noticed some upgrades of late. Dining rooms and other areas of the Olive Garden at 1825 E. Third St., Williamsport have been remodeled.

General Manager Kim Johnson noted that much of the spring was given over to the renovations, but without any disruptions to customer service.

“We kept the restaurant open the entire time,” she said.

Perhaps the most obvious changes are in the dining rooms with new color schemes and decor. Patrons will likely notice the more open spaces.

“It’s more accessible for large parties,” Johnson said. “It’s less tight an area.”

The four dining rooms now include wine-pouring stations and overall there’s slightly more seating than before, she noted. The bar and lobby areas have changed too. Two booths have been added in the bar, as well as new countertops and televisions. Outlets have been put in for cellphone and laptop use.

In the lobby now can be found a small catering area for pickup orders as well as two high-definition digital chalkboards.

“They can be checked out right here,” Johnson said.

It’s hard to miss the new glass-enclosed wine cabinets in the main corridor that display some 60 varieties. Remodeling has also included new light fixtures, pictures, and signage, including the redesigned Olive Garden logo.

Since opening in 1997, the restaurant had retained much of its original look.

“So it was a bit dated,” Johnson said.

The improvements, she said, seem to have “energized” the staff of 73 employees.

“Everyone seems to be excited about the new look,” she said. “We are just excited it was remodeled.”

As a way to give back to the community, the restaurant donated its former furnishings to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlet.

With headquarters in Orlando, Florida, Olive Garden has more than 800 restaurant locations.