Photo Credit: Chris Potter for Flickr
By Brienne Kenlock
York College students and local leaders anticipate the opening of a new Chipotle Mexican Grill on 160-02 Jamaica Ave. The restaurant is expected to open on Dec.14, according to the Director of Business Services and Operations Valerie Stevens.
The Jamaica Center Business Improvement District has been steadily planning the construction of the new restaurant for some time. This is one of many plans in the works for improving businesses in the Jamaica community as well as offering locals delicious foods.
Construction of the fast-food outlet began a few months ago and the process is going smooth so far, said Stevens.
“Chipotle will be a great eatery to the corridors of the BID district, providing the community, workers, and tourists tasty Mexican food,” said Stevens.
Yvonne Reddick, district manager for Community Board 12 agreed that the new restaurant would be a break from the other food chains in Jamaica.
“I strongly believe this community restaurant will be successful and offer a healthier alternative,” Reddick said. “As a community, we are not as health conscious as we should be, and that needs to change.”
She noted the common sightings of fast food chains, such as McDonald’s and Burger King, influence potential customers to invest their time in other shopping areas like Jamaica Ave.
“Revenue is going into other communities and they’re doing fine, but businesses here close down and become vacant,” Reddick added.
She said the restaurant will provide excellent service to the community and support their workers.
So far, the promise of opening a Chipotle in Jamaica has been met with welcome and praise from community leaders and the York College Community.
Dharshanie Shivcharran, 20, and a Sophomore majoring in Biology expressed that there would be more variety in terms of what to eat in the area.
“I’m not into Chipotle but my boyfriend loves it. It’s probably not somewhere I would go that much,” Shivcharran said. “I definitely think there will be a little more variety because before, there was no Chipotle, but I’ll try it some time.”
“I was walking on my way to class when I saw a big ‘Chipotle’ sign and I thought ‘Wow, that is cool,’” said Jashandeep Singh, 17, who attends the York Early College Academy.
Indonesia Green, 18, freshman majoring in Nursing also shared her excitement over having a new place to eat.
“I think it’s a really good idea because I’m tired of going all the way to Queens Center Mall just to get Chipotle,” Green said.
She also claimed it would be a change of pace from eating from familiar places in the community.
“It’s always been McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King. But now there’s something new,” Green said.