The long-awaited first Manhattan location of Jollibee is finally opening this month. The Filipino chain known for fried chicken plans to swing open the Midtown outpost near Times Square, at 609 Eighth Ave. between West 39th and West 40th streets, on Saturday, October 27th.
The company announced this location more than two years ago, and if it’s anything like other debuts, fans will be lining up for the opening. The first 40 people to get into the store will receive free Chickenjoy — fried chicken with gravy and rice — for a year. Collectibles will also be available.
The wildly popular fast food chain is as commonplace as McDonald’s in the Philippines, and when new locations have opened stateside, people have waited for hours, including at the only other NYC location in Woodside that opened in 2009.
Super fans consider it a national treasure of the Philippines, saying it brings a taste of home. Many of the dishes served are more common in the Philippines than they are in the U.S., like sweet spaghetti with hot dogs. But the flagship item is that fried chicken, which is accompanied by rice and gravy. Though more than 1,300 locations exist worldwide, this will only be Jollibee’s second NYC location.
The company has been growing rapidly. Besides expanding Jollibee, Jollibee Foods Corporation reached majority stake in burger chain Smashburger with a $100 million investment and will be helping Rick Bayless’s fast-casual chain Tortas Frontera grow with a $12.4 million. It’s also an investor in Titan Dining LP, which is behind locations of dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan.
Jollibee Manhattan opens at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 27.