No 7-Eleven

Resisting Chain Stores and Corporate Control

Denny’s To Wall Street: Come Booze It Up!

P1050540Denny’s is opening their first Manhattan location in May on Nassau Street – yeehaw! – and has already begun pissing people off by applying for a liquor license. Denny’s wants to serve booze with their Grand Slam breakfasts beginning at 10AM on weekdays and 8AM on the weekends because they believe Wall Street fat cats will be entertaining clients at the turnpike-staple pancake chain. Yes. Denny’s thinks people who make more money than god will be dining with clients at greasy ol’ Denny’s.

Downtown Express reports:

Representatives of the restaurant went before C.B. 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee on Feb. 18, hoping to secure a full liquor license that would allow patrons to chug one down with their breakfasts. With food service planned to start everyday at 5 a.m., they hoped to start serving alcohol at 10 a.m. on weekdays, 8 a.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday.

Frances Allen, the restaurant chain’s chief brand officer, told the committee the request was, in part, based on “fitting in to the local community,” since this will be the first Denny’s in Manhattan.

“Manhattanites have a different kind of brunch culture,” she said, “so we feel it’s important for people to have the opportunity to enjoy a drink with a meal at whatever time of day.”

And Gurbax Marwah, the franchisee whose California-based company will own the Nassau St. restaurant ― along with 23 others across the country ― said it was just about business.

“We chose 10 a.m. for [weekdays] for the simple reason that there will be people coming from the Financial District, whether they’re entertaining clients, or they just want to have a snack and a refresher, so we will need them to be served,” said Marwah. He later added that he believed pushing any of the hours back could take away from his breakfast crowd.

Naturally the community board all but stoned the Denny’s reps at the meeting!

“You must have the point of view that a lot of Manhattanites are alcoholics, if you really think you’re going to lose the breakfast meals if people can’t have a drink that early,” said committee member Paul Hovitz.

He pointed out that most restaurants and bars in the area generally start serving alcohol around 11 a.m., and also noted that 150 Nassau St. is bit too far north to cater directly to Financial District business meetings.

“I’m just trying to figure out, who needs a drink at 10 a.m. next to [the Spruce Street School] and a university?” said Sarah Elbatanouny, a John St. resident whose daughter attends the elementary school, also referring to Pace University.

And Marijo O’Grady, Pace’s dean of students, opposed the early hours because she feared, among other things, “direct marketing to our students” regarding alcohol.

One resident of neighboring 140 Nassau St. attended the meeting to share a particularly blunt opinion of the situation.

“The kind of person who wants to have a drink before noon is not the kind of person I want in front of my building,” he said. “Or in my neighborhood.”

This is yet another example of how clueless large chains like Denny’s and 7-Eleven are about integrating themselves into New York City. 7-Eleven thinks they’ll win over New Yorkers with $5.55 pizza and key copying kiosks – because hey, we like pizza, and damn, we’re always locking ourselves out of out apartments. And Denny’s, oh Denny’s. Really? This is the equivalent of putting your big ol’ boots and spurs up on the table, tipping your wide cowboy hat and bellowing Forgettaboutit! to the waitress, because, hey, you’re in New York City! That’s what New Yorkers do, right?

Denny’s plan for breakfast booze doesn’t go over easy at C.B. 1 [Downtown Express]

The Chains Vs. Mom-and-Pop

IHOP in New York CityToday’s am New York features a story about the rapidly expanding chain stores and chain restaurants in New York City. The article reports Manhattan has the highest concentration of chain stores and chain restaurants with 119 per square mile. 7-Eleven tops the list with 32 locations in Manhattan alone. Another 100 7-Eleven locations are scheduled to arrive in Manhattan by 2017. From the article.

“There are way too many. They’re part of a larger trend of suburbanization that’s been going on in the city” largely over the last decade or so, said Jeremiah Moss, who runs the blog Vanishing New York, which documents changes in the Big Apple.

“These are not one-of-a-kind businesses, they’re clones of each other, and they don’t feel like New York because they’re not of New York,” Moss said.

A grassroots group called No 7-Eleven formed last year to protest the opening of the convenience store, focusing on the East Village, whose “neighborhood feel” would be diminished by more 7-Elevens, a group representative said.

“The chain stores in New York City take away from the city’s character,” a representative said. “Anything special, unique or culturally significant in New York City is being pushed out and replaced with big brand names and predictable experiences the tourists and transients feel safe with.”

The chain, which has 32 stores in Manhattan and reportedly plans to open about 100 more, said “there is opportunity to grow more stores based on unmet demand,” and that the “vast majority of our stores in NYC [are] met with no opposition.”

Welcome to your opposition.

As more chains hit the city could mom and pop be in trouble? [am New York]