2 new restaurants underway near Stone Oak, 281


An Olive Garden restaurant and LongHorn Steakhouse will be among the first few businesses built within the new Tacara retail center, which just broke ground a few months ago.  According to a representative for the Italian restaurant franchise, the Olive Garden will open on May 9, 2011.  The restaurant will begin hiring April 11.


Construction of the LongHorn Steakhouse should also be finished in early spring.  We are excited to be opening a new restaurant at that location. We expect it to be open by the end of April,” Rich Jeffers, media relations director for the restaurant chain, announced via email. 


San Antonio-based Casey Development is currently building just a small portion of Tacara, a muilti-use development expected to eventually span some 58 acres northwest of Stone Oak Parkway and Hwy 281.  Along with the Olive Garden and LongHorn, at least one other pad site is being built at this time.  There is no word yet on what the third location may be.     


Casey Development also has another 20 acres north of the Tacara project. 


Originally slated to break ground in 2009, Tacara was delayed after the nation’s economy took a turn for the worse.  “It really depends on the leasing market,” said Casey’s Development Services Director Greg Gibson in regards to when the rest of the project will be developed. 


Modeled after a Spanish colonial village, Tacara originally called for retail, office and residential space, restaurants and entertainment.  The scale of the project has since been reduced and plans for the office and residential spaces will probably never be completed.  Casey Development still anticipates plenty of restaurants however. 


Based on the restaurant's website, the Stone Oak location will be the seventh Olive Garden in San Antonio and the first built this far north.   Olive Garden boasts more than 700 locations throughout the United States and Canada, employs more than 85,000 people and reports about $3 billion in sales annually. 


The first LongHorn opened in Atlanta more than 25 years ago. Today, the steakhouse has more than 330 restaurants in 32 states.  There are currently four LongHorn restaurants in San Antonio and one in New Braunfels. 


The LongHorn and Olive Garden are both divisions of Darden Restaurants, Inc., one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world.


To view architectural renderings of the Tacara project, visit www.tacara-texas.com.