Vegetarians may soon, to their displeasure, notice their carnivore friends swelling, thanks to the imminent arrival of 41 Arby’s restaurants in New York City.
“Ew,” said Mitt, a vegetarian attorney and French fry lover, upon learning that Arby’s, purveyor of all manner of sliced roast beef sandwiches, was to open more than two-score city roast beeferies within the next decade. “I just don’t think we need more gross fast food,” she said. “There are so many other options!” There’s tofu and seitan and beans!
But where Mitt’s wide eyes see factory-farmed, artery-clogging, diabetes-aggravating “food,” others, including Brooklyn-based R.C. Chera Realty Group, see a business opportunity.
“We saw that there was a hole that needed to be filled in New York,” said Raymond Chera, who, with his brother and father, won the exclusive rights to open Arby’s in Brooklyn, and additional rights to open locations in Manhattan, particularly in the midtown west area. Said hole encompasses every borough but Queens. “That is staggering when you think about it, because so many people love Arby’s across the country but it’s not here,” he said.
Much as we hate to admit it, Mr. Chera may be on to something. Brooklynite Eric Olson, for one, is a fan. “It’s especially greasy and especially soggy,” said Mr. Olson of the fare. “Most people don’t like that, but I do.”
Not only does Mr. Olson dig roast beef, but he digs cheap roast beef, particularly Arby’s “5 for 5 deal,” a monthly special that, according to a recent press release, lets customers buy five Arby’s items, “including an Arby’s Melt, Ham Melt, Medium Curly Fries, Potato Cakes, Mozzarella Sticks, Turnover, Small Shake or Medium Soft Drink,” for just $5.95.
Well, Mr. Olson, have we got fair tidings for you. “I am considering making that a permanent option for my restaurants,” Mr. Chera said.
The first such restaurant should open by the end of the year, and another three to four Arby’s should arrive in New York yearly.
“The people are clamoring for it,” Mr. Chera said.
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