New York Town Bans Chipotle, Other “Fast-Casual” Restaurants

New ban is based on aesthetics, not nutrition

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Earlier this year, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to pass a law banning large sodas. Now, another New York town is attempting to regulate the food options of its residents.

Eastchester, NY, a northern suburb of New York City, is already home to a ban on fast food restaurants. Now, town officials want to ban fast casual restaurants as well.

Fast-casual restaurants are the latest culinary fad. Fast-casual restaurants are usually a step up from traditional fast food offerings such as McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s. Chains such as Panera, Five Guys, Chipotle, California Pizza Kitchen, etc., offer customers “healthy” food choices, usually at a higher cost.

The town added an amendment to its zoning code identifying “standardized” décor and “corporate-driven” architecture as no longer allowed. Restaurants with 15 or more locations are also unwelcome.

The Eastchester fast-casual ban has nothing to do with calories or nutrition. Eastchester Supervisor Anthony Colavita told Lohud.com the restaurants “diminish the character of the community.”

“Generally speaking you have a corporate driven architecture, you have a milliard decor, it’s a plastic bubble menu, it generates a lot of noise, pedestrian traffic, and vehicular traffic,” he added.

Small business owner John Palazzolo, owner of Bon Appetite Deli, welcomes the ban and says it’s good for the town.

“A business that comes into town should enhance our quality of life instead of being a dominating force. When you run into these bigger chains, their presence can be dominating. We’re a town, not a city that can handle the traffic.”

 

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