Victory for another community fighting the presence of chain stores. Recently the town board of Eastchester, New York banned “fast casual” chain restaurants such as Panera, Cosi and Quiznos. Changes to the zoning code will prohibit any restaurant with more than 15 locations nationwide from setting up shop. A poll conducted by the Eastchester Daily Voice suggests 70% of the residents are in favor of the zoning amendment.
Speaking with The Journal News, Town Supervisor Anthony Colavita explained the decision was a reaction to a new threat to the Eastchester dining scene: “Hybrid” fast food restaurants with “milliard decor.” But is a Panera really all that terrifying? Yes, Colavita says in an interview with Fox 5 News: “Eastchester is a very upscale community, and we have a great restaurant base in our town. And we felt that it wasn’t appropriate to have that kind of character in our town.” Colavita also cited concerns about increased traffic and noise that large chains would bring to the narrow main corridor of Eastchester. Ultimately, the decision came as an assement of “goals” for Eastchester. Says Colavita, “You can go get your sandwich in Larchmont. We aren’t going to cheapen the town with fast food or these formula fast-quick casual places.“
New York Town Bans ‘Fast Casual’ Restaurants [Eater]
New zoning law bans chain restaurants from entering Eastchester [Westchester News 12]