Carl’s Jr. turned over a new leaf earlier this year when it booted CEO, failed Labor secretary nominee, and noted cleavage-lover Andy Puzder in order to reinvent itself (and, who knows, maybe face fewer sexual-harassment and wage-theft lawsuits). Ads showed “Carl Sr.” schooling his man-child son on how to properly run a burger company, a $5 meal deal was introduced, and now the chain is even expanding its turf: Say hello to the first Carl’s Jr. in the Big Apple.
Jersey has one in Somerset, and there are currently three upstate, but this is New York’s first location. Coney Island News reports it will be in the neighborhood of Coney Island — the city’s best spot to watch a fistfight before gawking at the newly boarded-up Wahlburgers. The Surf Avenue storefront it chose near Luna Park is also “just a few doors down” from Applebee’s and across the street from an IHOP, so sounds like Carl’s picked the right block. A spokesperson says “no official timetable” exists yet for its opening, but they do “hope to share additional details in the coming weeks.” Signs out front say, “Coming Soon,” and depict the chocolate milkshakes you’ll be able to order.
The company’s stab at rebranding is a tall order. Used to be that nobody in fast food had a lock on grease-scarfing bros better than Carl’s, a comically archconservative company that objectified women in almost every ad, openly threatened to replace workers with robots, and had the industry’s highest rate of female workers who claimed they’d been harassed on the job. It’s unclear who Carl’s intended demographic is now, but the New York store may give a hint. Besides the location, the biggest irony is the name choice: In this region, Carl’s Jr. traditionally goes by Hardee’s — its East Coast doppelgänger with far, far less baggage.