New takeout eateries for Route 211
By Jessica DiNapoli | Recordonline.com | May 18, 2014
TOWN OF WALLKILL — If you think of Route 211 as a giant mall, offering shoppers everything from designer wedding dresses to fishing rods, its food court is in the middle of a serious upgrade.
Several new takeout restaurants have started serving hungry shoppers on the strip, and others plan to begin soon.
Some of the joints, which offer far cheaper prices than sit-down restaurants, select the Town of Wallkill as their sole location not just in Orange County, but in the state, because of the shopping-fueled traffic on Route 211.
Plans are underway for two burger places, Hardee's and Sonic, to open less than a mile apart on Route 211.
Sonic, which also has New Windsor and Kingston locations, is scheduled to open next to Friendly's by mid-July, said Laura Frampton, an assistant to the franchisee.
Hardee's, which plans to open in the fall at the front of the former Caldor Plaza, would be the chain's only outpost in the state.
That's also the case for Fuddruckers, which opened in the former Cheeseburger in Paradise building last month.
The two brands have the same corporate owner, Luby's in Houston. Luby's converted the Cheeseburger in Paradise into a Fuddruckers because of the number of families in the area, said Rebecca Conner, the brand marketing manager at Luby's Fuddruckers Restaurants.
Conner and Shan Peters, the vice president of operations for Fuddruckers and Cheeseburger in Paradise, came to the Town of Wallkill last month to open the new restaurant.
Fuddruckers has a more family-friendly scene than its Jimmy Buffet-themed predecessor, where the bar and its jumbo margaritas were the focal point, Conner said.
Fuddruckers' lower bills also make the chain a good fit for the Middletown area, she said. An average check at Fuddruckers totals $9.48, while bills at Cheeseburger in Paradise tallied around $16.
Tips aren't required at Fuddruckers because customers serve themselves, Peters added.
The Galleria at Crystal Run and the big-box shops lining Route 211 pull in shoppers from 20 to 30 miles away, attracting chains like Fuddruckers to the Town of Wallkill, said David Livshin, the president of the Dagar Group, a Fishkill real estate leasing and management company.
"The anchors are the draw to the corridor," Livshin said. "Everyone sees the opportunity to make money and feed off those anchors."
Takeout restaurants, technically called quick-service restaurants, are also expanding rapidly, more so than sit-down chains, another factor driving the recent expansion, Livshin said.
The redevelopment of Orange Plaza also spurred growth, said Dovid Spector, the senior vice president of leasing at National Realty & Development Corp., which owns the shopping center.
"The trend started happening when Starbucks came to the shopping center," he said.
Orange County's only Chipotle Mexican Grill, a trendy eatery serving hormone-free meat and organic produce, opened last summer in the Orange Plaza.
After a recent morning of shopping, Teresa Robertson of Warwick grabbed lunch at the restaurant. She dines at Chipotle because of the healthier food.
"I don't consider this fast food," she said.
The shopping center will soon add another fashionable eatery, a Hoopla! Frozen Yogurt superstore. The shop, expected to open this week, is more than 50 percent bigger than Hoopla's other locations, and owner Larry Wilson hopes to serve 7,000 customers per week. About 4,000 people per week get their fro-yo fix at Hoopla's Town of Newburgh shop.
"All the stars line up" for frozen yogurt on Route 211, Wilson said. "Where frozen yogurt does best is where there's lots of entertainment and restaurants."
Like Fuddruckers' burgers, Hoopla's fro-yo is affordable. The average price per customer comes to less than $4, Wilson said.
The fast pace of traffic on Route 211 has contributed to the influx of takeout restaurants, Livshin said. Many drivers on Route 211 are commuting or just passing through town and don't have the time to sit down for a full-length meal with table service, he said.
The proposed Hardee's hits the Route 211 trifecta: It's to-go with a drive-thru, thrives on busy car traffic, and it's cheap.
The average bill is less than $6, said Clare Conlin, one of the partners in Hungry Guys, the franchisee planning to open the southern-cuisine-inspired restaurant.
Conlin's franchise territory spans north and west of New York City, but the Town of Wallkill's demographics and location were right for Hardee's re-entrance into the Northeast, where the chain previously had outlets.
That means shoppers picking up fabric at Hobby Lobby, or nabbing deals at Big Lots, will soon be able to dine on the chain's biscuits and thickburgers, now only available as far north as Central Pennsylvania and Delaware.
David Livshin, President/CEO of Dagar answers questions about a new project during a press conference at Fishkill Town Hall.
photo Spencer Ainsley, Poughkeepsie Journal
Reprinted with Permission
David Livshin was asked by Rabbi Yacov Borenstein to light a Menorah on the Walkway over the Hudson. It was a great honor and he was the first person to light a Menorah on the new WALKWAY. Mayor John Tkazyik participated in the unique event on December 14, 2009