Much as we’re reluctant to slap a label on a thing that’s happened a few times and called it a trend, those new Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Williamsburg? That Coney Island Applebee’s? All part of a trend.
Via Brokelyn, there’s a new report called State of Chains indicating that not only did 41 new chains open up across the borough last year, but this number constituted the highest percentage increase city wide. Brooklyn is still behind Manhattan and Queens with a total of 1,511 chain stores (Manhattan has 2,779, Queens has 1,653), but we’re now on pace to catch up to them pretty fast. Currently, the worst offending neighborhoods are Brooklyn Heights and Flatlands, and it almost goes without saying that the company with far and away the most locations is Dunkin’ Donuts (there are 123).
Meaning, then, that the small-batch hyper-local ethos is an utter lie and we should all give up? Or, more likely, that national corporations are just now starting to see value in an area that previously wasn’t so hospitable to development, and are responding as can be expected to a population boom. And that it really is important to try to spend your hard-earned dollars at local businesses instead of big box stores whenever possible. Chains are a powerful thing, and this could all go away. Just sayin’.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.