A new Olive Garden restaurant opens in Cool Springs Monday, March 18, and diners can expect a different look from one of the Garden locations they might have previously visited.

As the first Olive Garden to open in Franklin and Williamson County, the one located at 1712 Galleria Blvd. will be serving fresh Italian food in an open environment that “promotes togetherness,” according to the restaurant’s general manager, Tresa Reigart.

“It’s a new design that will be more open and vibrant,” she explained, “creating a look that promotes togetherness for a family-friendly atmosphere. It is just more open than the rest of the Olive Gardens.”

The new restaurant will feature Olive Garden’s latest 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 7,197-square-foot restaurant will accommodate more than 250 guests.

In addition to its wide array of pasta dishes and other Italian meals, the Olive Garden also features its “Lighter Fare” selection of Mediterranean foods such as Chicken Picatta and Shrimp Scampi.

Reigart said she and her staff are already feeling welcome in Franklin. She has been with Olive Garden since 1997 when she started as a server and bartender, and was general manager of the restaurant in Mount Juliet the last 4½ years.

“We’re just excited to be in this community,” she said. “We did some hiring events at [CoolSprings Galleria], and just the response we got for having our sign and name up was great. I think this community is as excited about having us as we are having them come into our restaurant.”

Reigart said the Olive Garden doesn’t waste any food. For one thing, diners are welcome to take home what they may not be able to finish. But even more so, the restaurant will donate leftover food at the end of the day to an organization named One Generation Away that feeds the homeless.

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