A long-term lease has been signed to bring Pizza Hut to Route 6 in the Mohegan Lake section of Yorktown.
The national chain along with a self-serve ice cream shop, TCBY, will occupy 3,600 square feet of the 8,100 square feet of what was once Charlie Brown’s, which filed for bankruptcy and closed down in Nov. 2010.
The remaining space, 4,500 square feet would be occupied by another company, the lease for which is currently being negotiated. Eric Goldschmidt of Goldschmidt & Associates, who is the leasing agent for the property, declined to identify it but he said it would be a "name brand that people will recognize."
Pizza Hut franchise and the renter of the location Mahandar "Moni" Patel said he would need to get a permit from Yorktown's building department before he can start construction, which he has planned for the end of January. If all goes well, he is looking to open doors at the end of April.
Patel, a 15-year Yorktown resident, also owns the , located on Downing Drive in Yorktown. He said he has heard customers speak favorably of seeing Pizza Hut open in the area, especially since the closest one is in Pleasantville. The rest of the Pizza Hut locations in Westchester County include Scarsdale and New Rochelle.
"They are all excited and cannot wait for me to open up," Patel said. "People are excited and they love the product."
When asked about how his business might affect other pizza restaurants, Patel said he hopes and prays that they all make money and said that while Pizza Hut has a similar product no matter where you go, the local 'mom and pop' shops have their own specialty.
"I'm not trying to compete with the local 'mom and pop' shops," he said.
Patel, who has signed a 30-year lease, said he has been in the food business for the last 15 years and it's always been his number one priority to keep the customers happy and not take anything for granted in the business.
In addition, he said opening up a new business in town will provide employment opportunities.
"We're looking forward to hiring at least 40 to 50 people and those people will be local in the community, kids working part time and full time," he said.
president Joseph Visconti said the new Pizza Hut would be moving into a great location because of the surrounding businesses, which could bring additional foot traffic into the restaurant, and because of the good parking there.
"It's a new business in town, we welcome them and we hope they're successful," he said.
Yorktown councilman Nick Bianco said he too hoped the new business would do well in town.
"With pizza, whoever serves the best will get the customers," he said. "To me, always competition is the way to go, it lowers the prices. There is a pizzeria on almost every corner and they seem to survive."
Goldschmidt said Pizza Hut would be a plus to the town of Yorktown and bring more people to the area. He said competition is good, and while he does not think people go out for pizza every night, consumers would have another choice of a place to eat at.
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