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86th Street to welcome Chipotle, Victoria’s Secret

Bay Ridge’s successful shopping strip is getting a facelift.

Recognized borough-wide for its implementation of both big names and mom-and-pop shops, the 86th Street corridor is adding one more national retailer and yet another national eatery to its repertoire: popular food chain Chipotle and lingerie superstore Victoria’s Secret.

“It’s a balance and we’re happy to have the attention by all the big guys, so to speak, while we support our local guys,” said Patrick Condren, executive director of the 86th Street Business Improvement District. “We urge everybody to support everyone, both the small mom and pops and the bigger guys.”

While some local residents are welcoming the big-names with open arms, others are hoping shoppers will remember those small businesses that came before.

“We welcome corporate investment in our neighborhood because that means jobs. It’s also a very positive indicator of the strength of Bay Ridge’s economy,” said Justin Brannan, local resident, small business owner and community activist. “However, it is imperative that we support our small businesses because they are the backbone of our small-town-in-the-big-city. Mom-and-pop stores are what make our neighborhood unique. You simply cannot overstate the importance of entrepreneurs and small businesses and what they mean to a community like ours.”

Ridgeite Shannon Legg shared similar concerns.

“Bay Ridge was always a place of small businesses,” she said. “Traditional Nordic and Irish shops and now everything is changing. You can’t walk down 86th Street or Fifth Avenue and see the old places you used to because the competition is too strong.”

Still, many shoppers see a bright side to the small town’s big news.

“It might help the community,” said local resident Steve P., keeping his fingers crossed for an increase in jobs.

The openings, both slated for September, will ride on the coattails of fellow chain restaurant, Panera Bread, which celebrated its Bay Ridge grand opening on Monday, August 4 with a traditional bread-breaking.

“I think it’s a great idea and it’s an excellent location for both [Chipotle and Panera Bread],” said Dyker Heights resident and local teacher Stefanie Petsche. “Both restaurants are going to get a lot of business because I, for one, travel to downtown Brooklyn just for a [Chipotle] burrito bowl or Panera’s famous mac and cheese.

“It will make Bay Ridge very popular,” she said.

Chipotle will open up at 463 86th Street and Victoria’s Secret at 447.

Additional reporting contributed by Heather Chin.

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