Spokane Journal of Business

Olive Garden restaurant moves forward in Valley

Company demolishes old Hong Kong Buffet eatery

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Orlando, Florida-based Italian restaurant chain Olive Garden is planning a new 7,800-square-foot restaurant near the Spokane Valley Mall, at the site of the former Hong Kong Buffet restaurant, which closed in mid-March.

California-based RSI Group Inc., a design, development, and construction company, has been issued permits to replace the Hong Kong Buffet restaurant.

Demolition of the 6,100-square-foot structure at 14742 E. Indiana was completed earlier this month by Spokane-based Rob’s Demolition Inc. 

Santa Ana, California-based CRHO Architects is designing the $1.75 million project, which will be built by Eagle, Idaho-based Steed Construction Inc.

CRHO Architects specializes in restaurant architecture and has designed several Olive Garden eateries nationwide.

The Italian restaurant chain currently has two Inland Northwest locations. One at 9780 N. Newport Highway, in the North Point Plaza in north Spokane, and the other at 525 W. Canfield, in Coeur d’Alene. 

An Olive Garden previously operated in the Old City Hall building, at 221 N. Wall in downtown Spokane, until May 2015, when the company closed that location. 

Olive Garden is a division of Orlando, Florida-based Darden Restaurants Inc., which also owns several other restaurant brands. Olive Garden has 729 locations and 96,000 employees in all.

Meagan Bernstein, a spokeswoman for Darden Restaurants, says via email that the Valley restaurant is in early development. She couldn’t be reached immediately for further comment.

According to its fourth quarter fiscal report, Olive Garden reported over $4 billion in annual sales for 2020, down 6.4% from the year prior. Darden overall reported $7.8 billion in sales, down 8.3% from 2019. The company’s fiscal year ended March 31.

Darden Restaurants has more than 180,000 employees and 1,700 restaurants nationwide, according to the company’s website.

The company is currently building two more Olive Garden restaurants in Texas and a location in Saskatoon, Canada, all of which are slated to open next month. No timeline is listed for the Spokane Valley location.

Hong Kong Buffet announced on its Facebook page on March 16 that the restaurant was closed. The phone number has since been disconnected, and a representative of the company couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

The restaurant moved into the space in mid-2012.

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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