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Perry, Price suspense almost over


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POSTED: Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Perry and Price posse's pondering will be pau tomorrow morning when a celebrity phone call reveals the new venue for their Saturday morning breakfast show.

The morning radio team of Michael W. Perry and Larry Price have thrown hints about the spot that will succeed John Dominis restaurant, the Hanohano Room and the old Champeaux's for its 32 live shows a year.

It's a national chain with locations in Las Vegas and the Caribbean, and the latter was voted the sexiest beach bar by a cable network, they have announced.

“;TheBuzz”; is prohibited from revealing the restaurant's name, but from an oceanside restaurant near “;one particular harbor”; where “;fins”; are occasionally visible, the new breakfast buffet will come with optional “;frozen concoctions.”;

No Olive Garden

This will be a crushing blow to many wishful thinkers ono for some famous bread sticks.

Olive Garden will not expand to Hawaii any time soon.

With all the development in Kapolei and anchor tenants including Target likely to draw other national players, all sorts of talk about who else might come to town has been swirling about.

Olive Garden has been one of the more oft-mentioned names, and not just since the Second City actually came to be. Readers have for years begged your columnist to find out when the restaurant would come to Hawaii.

Again, the answer is a disappointment for them.

Olive Garden locations in the pipeline for 2009 do not include Hawaii locales, its Web site shows.

“;There are no short-term plans”; for an isle restaurant, meaning not for the next two to three years, said Mara Frazier, Olive Garden media relations manager.

But maybe somebody else in the company knows something and just hasn't informed the media relations office?

Olive Garden's parent company, Darden Restaurants Inc., is Florida-based and publicly traded.

It “;does extensive research in its site selection process, including demographics, traffic counts, site size, trade area size, market size, growth patterns, etc.,”; wrote Dottie Morgan, real estate coordinator, in an e-mail.

“;At this time we have not identified Hawaii as an area of expansion for any of our concepts, however, we will continue to monitor this area for possible future expansion.”;

Alaska residents won't be getting an Olive Garden soon, either, Morgan said.

“;Expanding into a new territory would require a long-term commitment to open several sites. At this time, there are a great many markets in the continental United States that remain untapped for us, and the corporate decision has been made to pursue the markets closer to our base.”;

Darden owns and operates about 1,700 restaurant under names including Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and the Capital Grille.

Hawaii residents were subjected to tempting commercials for Red Lobster for years before that seafood restaurant opened in Waikiki 16 years ago. It appears the Olive Garden commercials will continue to cause un-requitable salivation for at least the near future.

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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)