The latest restaurant we are bidding adieu to is a Harlem location of nationwide mega-chain Applebee’s. According to Harlem-based blog Harlem & Bespoke, the Applebee’s on West 125th Street closed this month after six years on the corner of Fifth Avenue. All the signage on the low-rise building has been removed, and a sign in the window announces, “[We] lost our lease.”
Even with news of restaurant shutters popping up every day, for a mega-chain like Applebee’s (which boasts nearly 2000 stores nationwide), it stands out. According to a review of Applebee’s parent company Dine Equity (which also owns IHOP), the chain universe is about to see far fewer Applebee’s.
Barron’s reports that sales and profits have been falling since last year for Dine Equity, largely due to slow traffic and a few menu misfires at Applebee’s, despite a reportedly $75 million investment in the neighborhood restaurant. If sales continue to falter, this could be a trend for the chain over the next few months.
Applebee's first opened on 125th Street in 2009 and was largely welcomed by the neighborhood. The chain currently oversees nearly 30 New York stores across the five boroughs, including a second Harlem location on East 117th Street.
Harlem & Bespoke notes that developers were recently on site at 1 West 125th St, but it’s unclear what will move in after Applebee’s.