Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Panda in Hell

Reader Cat McGuire sends in pics of something new moving to Hell's Kitchen at 46th Street and 9th Avenue.

It's a Panda Express -- a suburban shopping-mall, food-court restaurant with over 1,500 locations around the globe. It's run by this billionaire CEO.

And the chaining of the city continues. Anyway.

An angry New Yorker with a Sharpie has a message for the mega-chain: "Panda Express?!? A mall restaurant?!? Get the fuck out of Hell's Kitchen!!"


Robert M. Hefley said...

This might actually do well in Times Square. But in the old Zen Palate location....?

rongee said...

What I'd give for a Howard Johnson's or Horn & Hardart in NYC !

James said...

That's a corner I know well. I lived across 46th Street (and one floor up) from 1989 to late '92. I watched men build out Zen Palate by hand (even bringing in a huge steel beam on their shoulders). The prior tenant was some non-descript unfinished furniture store, from the time Hell's Kitchen still felt like it was miles away from the action. I lived and worked in the neighborhood as far back as '85, and I remember how marvelously backward and affordable some of the area was.
This corner is part of the flow. Only owners can stave it off in places. The Galaxy coffee shop across 46th is still family-owned, and it goes back to the early 80's. It too has changed, and it's not the actor/model/comedian hangout it once was, but it's still local. It can't be surprising that chains want these spaces. Truthfully, we would have welcomed a thing like that in 1990, as the ease of getting dinner was challenged by theater restaurants vs. lousy convenience stores vs. bars. A new generation will simply see what is, not what was. Personally, I'd like to see Ninth Avenue with an EL train running over it, but that's not likely to be.

RJP3 said...

In the past any New Yorker worth their salt would scoff at going to chain and not supporting a local business. Not the New Yorkers of today I bet.