Buca di Beppo, another national Italian chain, opens today in Times Square next to Planet Hollywood (which has gone trough many waves of "is it closing" speculation). The eatery is actually owned by that celeb-minded chain, but there the focus is on red sauce and - wait for it - "meatballs as big as your head."
Though you won't find unlimited breadsticks, the menu features family style dishes, making the place feel kind of like T.G.I. Carmine's. While other chain restaurants have rando tchotchkes,this one takes a more focused approach, decorating with irreverent, old-timey photos. It opens today at 4 PM at 1540 Broadway.