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New Thanksgiving Day Parade Route is a Boon for Some Midtown Businesses, Bust for Others

By DNAinfo Staff on November 25, 2009 7:23am  | Updated on November 26, 2009 6:52am

This year a route change in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade means the parade won't march past the Applejack Diner on Broadway near 55th Street for the first time in nearly 30 years.
This year a route change in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade means the parade won't march past the Applejack Diner on Broadway near 55th Street for the first time in nearly 30 years.
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DNAinfo/Mariel S. Clark

By Mariel S. Clark

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN WEST — For nearly 30 years, the Applejack Diner opened an hour early on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of the hungry crowds lining Broadway for the Macy's Parade.

That is, until this year.

For the first time in its more than 80 year history, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will not march down Broadway, but instead will head down Seventh Avenue, zigzagging its way 2.65 miles through Midtown to Herald Square.

That means an increase in customers for some Midtown eateries, while other restaurants, many that until now had a prime parade location, will be routed out of a big business day.

Located on Broadway near 55th Street, the Applejack Diner had a prime location for the parade, and sold lots of coffee, hot chocolate and pastries.

Florian Hugo, the Executive Chef of Brasserie Cognac on Broadway and 55th Street, said he expects to lose business now that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will head down 7th Avenue instead of Broadway.
Florian Hugo, the Executive Chef of Brasserie Cognac on Broadway and 55th Street, said he expects to lose business now that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will head down 7th Avenue instead of Broadway.
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DNAinfo/Mariel S. Clark

"I'm preparing like it's is going to be the same," Koulouris said. "I don't have any choice. But it's going to affect us. It's not going to be the same."

Across the street, Florian Hugo, the Executive Chef of Brasserie Cognac, said he expects their business to take a huge hit this year.

"Most of our business was people waiting for the parade to start," Hugo said.

He predicted the number of customers will be cut in half this year. "People who know us will find us, but most people have no reason to come," he said.

While restaurants on Broadway lament the loss of business, those on Seventh Avenue are preparing for a boon.

"Even when it was on Broadway, it was a busy day," said Christos Averkiou, owner of Park Café on Seventh Avenue and 55th Street. "I don't know how it's going to be this year."

Park Café will open half an hour early, at 5:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. They have already purchased additional food and supplies and will have extra staff to handle the expected rush.

Averkiou said he has received hundreds of calls asking for reservations during the parade. One man offered him $200 cash to hold a table by the restaurant's windows facing Seventh Avenue.

Christos Averkiou, owner of Park Café on 7th Avenue and 55th Street, says he's prepared for a rush in business on Thanksgiving Day now that the parade will march past his restaurant.
Christos Averkiou, owner of Park Café on 7th Avenue and 55th Street, says he's prepared for a rush in business on Thanksgiving Day now that the parade will march past his restaurant.
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DNAinfo/Mariel S. Clark

Averkiou said he refused the reservation and the cash.

"It's not fair," he said. "If my wife comes in I'm not going to let her be there."