The construction of Chipotle’s Mexican Grill is still in the works. It is planned to be opened on December 14th. Photo by Brienne Kenlock
Many people are anticipating the opening of a new Chipotle Mexican Grill on Jamaica Avenue. 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 of improving businesses in the Jamaica community as well as offering locals and travelers delicious food.
The Jamaica BID is focused on helping the community through providing services and goods to the people. Valerie Stevens, the Director of Business Services and Operations, said “Chipotle will be a great eatery to the corridors of the BID district, providing the community, workers, and tourists tasty Mexican food.”
Construction began a few months ago and will be located where Duane Reade used to be on160-02 Jamaica Avenue The restaurant is expected to open on December 14th. “The progress has been smooth so far,” said Stevens.
Yvonne Reddick, District Manager for Community Board 12 argued that the new restaurant would be a reprieve from the other food chains in Jamaica. “I strongly believe this community restaurant will be successful and offer a healthier alternative,” she said. “As a community, we are not as health conscious as a we should be, that needs to change.”
She noted the common sightings of fast food chains such as McDonalds and Burger King would influence potential customers to invest in other places like Green Acres Mall. “My thing is revenue is going into other communities and they’re doing fine, but businesses here close down and become vacant.”
Reddick hopes 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 those in the community.
20-year-old Biology sophomore Dharshanie Shivcharran expressed that there is more variety in terms of what to eat. “I’m not into Chipotle but my boyfriend loves it. It’s probably not somewhere I would go that much,” she said. “I definitely think there will be a little more variety because before, there was no Chipotle, but I’ll try it sometime.”
17-year-old Jashandeep Singh is a high school student who attends York Early College Academy. “I was walking on my way to class when I saw a big ‘Chipotle’ sign and I thought ‘Wow, that is cool.’”
18-year-old Nursing freshman Indonesia Green expressed 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,” she said. Green also stated it would be a change of pace from eating from familiar places in the community. “It’s always been McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, but now there’s something new.”