National chains are on their way to Coney Island, according to neighborhood blog Amusing the Zillion.
Applebee’s, Johnny Rockets, and frozen yogurt chain Red Mango have all signed leases on property on the north side of Surf Avenue, which is essentially the neighborhood’s main street, and they’ll soon be changing the landscape of this neighborhood-in-flux even more.
The properties are currently either vacant land or shuttered storefronts, and they sit right next door to the Coney Island elevated subway terminal, which is in turn right across the street from the original Nathan’s, the area’s main tourist draw and crossroads.
In a neighborhood known for its authenticity, the invasion of chains is a bit of a mixed blessing. There are still many abandoned storefronts and vacant lots in the neighborhood, and these new restaurants will add some vitality to the area. However, that unique, special feeling that Coney Island has always had is quickly being replaced by homogeneousness, and when all is said and done, there’s a chance that everything that made the area special could become a distant memory.