Loosen your belt buckles and prepare your stomachs because Cheesecake Factory officially opens its first New York City today. Even though the suburban sit-down chain restaurant has more than 200 locations across the country, today marks the first time the popular company has set foot inside city limits. It’s at the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst, at 90-15 Queens Boulevard, and like every other location of the chain, it serves a genre-busting menu of more than 250 menu items and 50 kinds of cheesecake.
Diehard fans have been able to visit Cheesecake Factory in Long Island and New Jersey, but the company says that finding the right real estate in New York has always been difficult. They’ve been trying to open here for years. They’ve never wanted to significantly raise prices, and Manhattan real estate costs would require it, according to the company.
The Queens location happened to open up and was the right fit. It looks a lot like suburban versions, with a corner location and neighbors like Olive Garden. Anybody getting off at the Woodhaven Boulevard MTA stop to check out the chain’s newest restaurant would have a hard time missing it. Just like other locations, the restaurant’s red logo is supersized on the outside of the mall and can be spotted from a couple blocks away.
More than 50 people were lined up at the door this morning before the restaurant opened for its first service. Check out more photos of the space here and a video tour of the restaurant here.