Rachel's Rumors: Olive Garden not done deal but getting close

I dearly hope everyone remembers how rumors were spread when we were kids. Remember the whispered, “Hey, Olive Garden is coming. Pass it on.”

Go ahead and tell your friends to pass this one on. This is solid information from a good source, albeit an unidentified source (because that’s how I roll). 

My source predicted Conway residents would be dining at an Olive Garden in the next 12 months. In fact, my source’s words were that he or she would be “shocked” if that were not the case. “Shocked.”  

This person says Olive Garden is pursuing property in Conway and has been for quite a while. That explains a lot. Those of you who have been following this column regularly know I have occasionally said I had a pretty good hunch about this topic because the whispers were floating around. 

From this point on, though, if someone should ask me if Olive Garden is coming to town, I will simply say “yes.”

Kroger Marketplace

Also big news, the Kroger on Salem Road will indeed be expanded into a Kroger Marketplace. These larger stores compete with Target and Walmart. A little online research revealed that the Kroger Marketplace on Chenal Parkway in Little Rock has Fred Meyer Jewelers, toys, furniture and housewares, in addition to the things you can already get at Kroger.

Also, there will be a cafe and coffee shop on the northwest corner of the building with an outdoor seating area, trees and bike racks. I’m not able to say at this time whether that coffee shop will be under an already-popular brand in town. That remains to be seen. Regardless, the fact that there will be a coffee shop at Kroger on Salem is a positive for our town, where driving time for this life-sustaining beverage is much longer than for, say, gasoline. Or an ATM. You know, the essentials.

Speaking of gasoline, I am certain many people are pumped (pardon the pun) about the new fuel station that will be included in the Kroger expansion. 

Open this week

Chicken Express should be lighting up the sign bearing their incredibly awesome logo and flinging wide the doors on Monday. You may still see continuing work on the landscaping, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stop by and get a bucket of fried chicken and some sweet tea. Apparently their sweet tea is so good it merits its own Facebook page.

Have a great week, everyone.

(Rachel Parker Dickerson is a freelance columnist/journalist. Send your questions and comments to rachelpdickerson@gmail.com)




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