It's been being talked about for years now; an Olive Garden coming to the greater Utica area. Now, it appears plans are closer than ever to becoming a reality.
Next Monday the Town of New Hartford Planning Board is scheduled to review a proposal.
Town officials say that proposal calls for the construction of an Olive Garden on Commercial Drive in New Hartford. The restaurant would be located next to the newly opened Metro Mattress.
This news is sparking quite the conversation in an area known for its "mom and pop" Italian eateries.
But, others are welcoming the proposal.
"I think people here will welcome something new. And those who want to support the local businesses can. And those who want something for variety can go to a place like olive garden. I think it's a great place," said Michele Ward of Marcy.
"Whenever I'm in Syracuse I go because that's the closest one. So it would be nice not to travel," said Tyler Krebs of Westmoreland.
But not everyone thinks it's such a great idea. We got some negative reactions on our Facebook page.
Sean says "Horrible idea. Support local restaurants. Plenty of amazing local Italian eateries with homemade food in the area"
Ryan M. says "I'll grant that Olive Garden isn't the same kind of home cooking that many of our local restaurants provide. But, there are only so many dining dollars to go around. Every new chain restaurant in the area puts pressure on the smaller local operations."
While some are concerned about traffic, some say it could hurt local business.