By Jeff Mays
HARLEM — IHOP has moved one step closer in its bid to open up 24 new stores in Manhattan — picking the spot where the chain will open up an outpost in East Harlem, company officials said.
The new restaurant will be located at Lexington Avenue and 125th Street, IHOP spokesperson Jennifer Pendergrass told DNAinfo.
"We do have an approved second location for Harlem. Construction has yet to start but it is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2011," Pendergrass said.
The restaurant, which is known for its all-day breakfast offerings, will have the same ownership group as Manhattan's first and formerly only IHOP at West 135th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard.
After the West Harlem IHOP opened in July 2004 — in a joint development project with the help of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Greater Omentum and Bragg Harlem Foods — it quickly became one of the chain's most popular, according to the company. The location is particularly popular with the Sunday church crowd, Pendergrass said.
"It's our one location in Manhattan and its a popular location. Our breakfast lunch and dinner options resonate well with the community," said Pendergrass.
IHOP announced in December that it was rolling out an ambitious plan to open up 24 stores in Manhattan, with a flagship store in Times Square.
Almost all of the restaurants in the chain, 99 percent, are operated by franchisees, according to IHOP.There are about 1,504 IHOP restaurants located in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The move could symbolize a change for the area, said former Community Board 11 member Derrick Taitt. A Pathmark and a strip of stores are already located near the intersection.
"Its a decent thing for the neighborhood and its going to have to force it to do better," he said.