Empire Building

The Chain Gang: T.G.I. Friday’s and Applebee’s Battle in the Bronx, Yolato and Burritoville Return, and More

While some chains slow their growth (Red Mango hasn’t opened a single New York store in 2009 and Pinkberry hasn’t opened any recently, either), others are multiplying like mogwai, and others are coming back from the dead (Burritoville! How we missed you!). Occasionally, we’ll check in with some of the chains (whether they’re independents like Uncle Louie G or big boys like Mickey D’s) to see what they’ve opened around town lately. Here’s our first hodgepodge of updates.

Blowing Up:
While NYC ICY’s Brooklyn store flounders, Uncle Louie G is expanding at a rapid clip. Besides the Graham Avenue outpost we told you about, owner Dino Russo tells us he has opened fourteen stores in the past year, as far away as Florida. His most recent Brooklyn locations: 478 Smith Street (near 9th) and 422 Greenwood Avenue. In Staten Island, he’s opened a store at 819 Forest Avenue, and in a couple of weeks he’ll add one on Page Avenue at Amboy Road. Louie G ices are also now available at Acquedolci. Russo currently oversees 40 stores and is looking to expand to between 75 and 100.

Brother Jimmy’s, which most recently acquired a Yankee Stadium stand, is currently looking at space in Midtown West as well as considering options in Miami and Charlotte, North Carolina. The chain is celebrating its twentieth anniversary on July 22 by turning prices back to 1989 levels ($7.95 for pulled-pork sandwiches, $6.95 for burgers, $12.95 for ribs, etc.). The Second Avenue location will run the promotion for the entire week of July 20.

Baoguette will open its Wall Street location at 9 Maiden Lane sometime this summer, and Michael Huynh will also open his Vietnamese beer garden, Bia Garden, at 154 Orchard Street in the next month or so.

Cautiously Expanding:
Applebee’s is opening two Bronx locations: One is at 440 East Fordham Road and the other (due to open August 31) is in the Bronx Terminal Market at 610 Exterior Street.

T.G.I. Friday’s will soon open a store at 1780 East Gun Hill Road.

Yolato reopened its store at 418 Sixth Avenue and 9th Street a couple of months ago.

Laying Low:
The big daddy of them all, McDonald’s, hasn’t expanded here since late March, when it came to Coney Island at 1403 Mermaid Avenue. By the way, Pio Pio and Uncle Louie G also opened locations in Coney Island this season. (Pio Pio is on the boardwalk and Uncle Louie G is amid the amusements.)

The Chain Gang: T.G.I. Friday’s and Applebee’s Battle in the Bronx,