Community and business leaders in southeast Queens are praising the opening of a new Applebee’s in downtown Jamaica as a positive improvement for the neighborhood’s economy.
The chain bar and grill opened a new location on the second floor of 161-19 Jamaica Ave., right above a Verizon cell phone store last week. Community Board 12 District Manager Yvonne Reddick paid a visit to the restaurant during a VIP-only visit before the opening and she said she was impressed with the decor and service.
“I think it’s going to be great for the community. They have a great variety of food. The waiters and waitresses — they groomed them well,” she said.
Laurel Brown, director of operations for the Jamaica Business Improvement District, said the community has always wanted bigger chains closer to home and that Applebee’s fit the plate for eaters of all ages.
“The place is packed and it is an indication of how well Applebee’s is doing in the community,” she said.
The location also offers a “Carside To Go” option for pick-up orders for customers who want to enjoy the restaurant’s meals at home.
Jamaica Avenue is also home to other chains, including McDonald’s, White Castle, Wendy’s and Burger King and has other mom and pop restaurants that range from pizzerias to chicken joints.
Aside from the food, Reddick said she was impressed that the chain reached out to the community to help its business. Some of the roughly 250 employees are from southeast Queens, according to Reddick.
“That’s 200 or so people off the unemployment line,” she said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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