Agreed. Don't be misled by the apparent singular collective noun "a lot," which is treated like "many" when followed by a plural noun. There are a lot of people = there are many people.
In some circumstances you might say "there are a group of people," though that's really another story, to distinguish between:Hmmm...this got me thinking. Why would you use there are a lot of people? Shouldn't the verb agree with "a lot?"
You wouldn't say "There are a group of people." Rather, "There is a group of people."
What changes about "a lot" that we need to make the verb plural?....hmmm....
Although I agree with my colleagues, I want to point out that "There is a lot of people" is VERY common among native speakers. I believe the reason for this is that in the form of a contraction, the correct form is difficult for us to pronounce.What's grammatically correct? there is a lot of people or there are a lot of people?
Yes, your question has been answered above, but to reiterate:Do you say a lot of people is eating here or a lot of people are eating here?