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Business booming at Monte Vista Crossings
Olive Garden, Old Navy set to open
new businesses pic
The Olive Garden Italian restaurant marks the first building in Monte Vista Crossings long-planned southern expansion.

Two much-anticipated new Turlock businesses are just days away from opening.

The Olive Garden Italian restaurant, located at 2749 Countryside Dr., will open at 11 a.m. Monday. Turlock’s Old Navy clothing store will open at 9 a.m. Sept. 20., with a grand opening currently set for 6 p.m. Sept. 21.

The Olive Garden’s 7,441 square-foot restaurant will host up to 246 guests and employ 185, in a building inspired by traditional Tuscan farmhouses. The newly constructed restaurant marks the first building in Monte Vista Crossings’ long-planned southern expansion.

Olive Garden offers a range of Italian cuisine, including those famous never-ending breadsticks, soups, salads, and pastas. The Journal first broke news of the restaurant’s new Turlock site in November 2011.

Founded in 1982 and part of Darden Restaurants, Inc. – owners of Red Lobster and four other restaurants – the Olive Garden operates more than 750 restaurants, claims more than 90,000 employees, and generates more than $3.5 billion in annual sales. Each restaurant averages $4.7 million in annual sales as the chain entertains more than 3.3 million guests each week.

Currently, Darden Restaurants operates three Olive Gardens within 50 miles of Turlock – in Modesto, Tracy and Stockton.

Turlock’s Olive Garden will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. through 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday. No special festivities are planned for Monday’s grand opening.

The opening of Turlock’s Old Navy is still in the planning stages, but is currently scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 20. That’s just seven months after Turlock Mayor John Lazar first broke news of the new businesses during his State of the City address on Feb. 16.

Turlock’s Old Navy will fill a 15,000 square foot site in Monte Vista Crossings, which formerly hosted a Borders bookstore before that chain’s 2011 bankruptcy.

The retailer is expected to hold a grand opening celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 22, with bands, food, activities, and balloon animals.

Old Navy, a division of Gap Inc., has been one of the world's most successful clothing retailers since its 1994 founding. By 1997 the company posted $1 billion in annual sales, making Old Navy the first retailer to reach that mark in less than four years of operation.

Turlock’s Old Navy will be chain's only Central Valley store between Manteca and Fresno.

In July, ULTA Beauty was the first in this wave of new stores to open at Monte Vista Crossings. ULTA is located at the former site of Fashion Bug, near Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The 7,000 square-foot space was expanded to 10,000 square-feet to accommodate the retailer by knocking out and renovating the rear wall of the building.