GONZALES, La. (BRPROUD) – An Olive Garden is under construction in Gonzales, and city officials have more dining options coming to the city soon.

The plan for the Olive Garden was approved by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission in February 2022. The restaurant will be located on Outfitter’s Drive in Sportsmans Park near Highway 30.

Scot Byrd, the city’s CAO, says the idea came from businessman Brent Rhodes. Sportsman’s Park is managed by Rhodes.

“Brent’s always trying to find different places that fill holes in our bucket for us to occupy some of those vacant spots out there,” Byrd said. “And I work with him to try to help him as well. So, he managed to snag the Olive Garden.”

Byrd says Gonzales doesn’t have an Italian offering and the city had two open slots for restaurants: one Italian and one barbecue.

The new restaurant won’t cost the city a dime, according to Byrd.

“It’s going to make the city money,” Byrd said. “Most local governments run off of sales taxes so this is going to be good for us.”

The new restaurant is under construction, but that is not without its challenges. Rising costs and supply chain issues have taken a bit longer to get off the ground than Byrd says he would like. The good news is Byrd believes the construction should have no effect on traffic.

Byrd says Mayor Barney Arceneaux is excited to see this additional restaurant come to the city and give residents more options for dining.

Sometime soon, Gonzales could see an increase in options. Byrd says that Sonny’s BBQ is coming to Heritage Crossing along with Agave Blue, which Byrd describes as a high-end Mexican restaurant.

“The more options we have the better it is for our quality of life,” Byrd said.