Flushing’s vibrant Chinese food court scene is expanding into Brooklyn, with two brand-new food halls scheduled to be open in Bensonhurst and Homecrest, two rapidly growing neighborhoods among Chinese immigrants.
The Homecrest food court, named BKU Food Court is headed to 1809 Ave. U, between 18th and 19th streets, while Bensonhurst’s BK Food Court is located at 2227 86th St., between Bay Parkway and 23rd Avenue. The two spaces, together with over 10,000 square feet of cooking and dining areas, are expected to host various Chinese regional food stalls.
In several leasing advertisements posted across Chinese immigrant fora, the two food courts, managed by the same owner, are actively seeking restaurateurs and cuisines from Guangdong, Fujian, Taiwan, Xi’an, among many other places. The ads also specifically called for some the most popular Chinese food court dishes: Yunnan rice noodles, Xinjiang da pan ji (a Uyghur-style cooked chicken), and jianbing (Chinese savory pancakes).
Bella Wong, a representative from both food courts, tells Eater that the spaces are under renovation. Homecrest’s BKU Food Court is scheduled to open in three months, and they expect to finish decorating the BK Food Court in Bensonhurst in four months.
“We hope to attract not only Chinese customers,” Wong says, “but also the Turkish and Russian residents in the neighborhood.”
With the growing number of Chinese immigrants in New York City, the number of food courts for Chinese cuisines also rose drastically. There are currently a dozen food court-style places serving as communal spaces for small Chinese kitchens. New World Mall in Flushing, Queens, is one of the most signature food courts, alongside Golden Shopping Mall and Brooklyn’s Fei Long Supermarket.
Gathering a number of restaurants in the same space, such food courts are expected to bring in more food traffic for Chinese cuisines.
“I don’t think it will impact our business,” says Gavin Mei, a Bensonhurst waiter working four block away from the new food court. “On the contrary, it will bring us more traffic.”