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By Elena Kadvany

Olive Garden shutters in Palo Alto

Uploaded: May 30, 2016

The Palo Alto location of international Italian-restaurant chain Olive Garden is no more.

The restaurant at 2515 El Camino Real closed on May 21, days before the Palo Alto City Council would approve a proposal to demolish the restaurant and replace it with a mixed-use development featuring offices, condominiums and retail space.

The developer for the new project plans to replace the 9,694-square-foot restaurant with a 39,858-square-foot, block-long development.

Hunter Robinson, manager of media relations and communications for Olive Garden, said that closing the Palo Alto outpost was a “difficult business decision, and one we made very carefully and thoughtfully, particularly because it impacts our employees and our guests.

"In no way does this reflect on the quality of our employees' work," he noted in an email, “and we’re doing everything we can to help every team member find a new job."

He said that the company offered Palo Alto employees the option of working at other Olive Garden restaurants or sister restaurants in the area.

The Palo Alto Olive Garden first opened in November 1992. When asked if the company intended to reopen elsewhere in Palo Alto, Robinson wrote: "We are always looking for new locations across the country for Olive Garden, but we don’t comment on any new sites until we have the proper approvals in place."

There are nearby Olive Gardens in San Francisco, San Jose, Milpitas and Fremont, among 800-plus locations across the globe.