It’s the ultimate Park Slope good news/bad news story: The long-vacant Miracle Grill space on Seventh Avenue is finally about to reopen — but as a national burger chain with a very cheesy name.
Florida-based Cheeburger Cheeburger put up signs this week heralding its arrival to the space at Third Street, which has been shuttered for a year.
Some residents of the Slope, where Mom and Pop stores still dominate the shopping strips, offered up visions of doom about the arrival of a chain — especially one whose motto is “big is better.”
“I am worried,” said Stuart Fink, a neighbor. “Local business is what this neighborhood is all about, and a lot of places have closed recently, presumably because of high rent and not being able to have as deep pockets as these chains.
“And that’s not really what Brooklyn should be about,” he added.
The chain is known for its old-fashioned decor, oversize patties with a plethora of toppings, and milkshakes.
Other Cheeburger Cheeburger franchises have popped up in Queens, Staten Island and even at JFK, but this will be the first Brooklyn outpost for the chain, whose name comes from an old “Saturday Night Live” sketch that mocked a beloved Chicago diner whose waiter was constantly saying the words, “cheeburger, cheeburger.” Like the fictional diner, Cheeburger Cheeburger also proudly proclaims, “No Coke! Pepsi!”
It’s unclear if the Slope needs another burger restaurant. In the past few years, the neighborhood has become home to a Five Guys location, Brooklyn Flipster, and Dram Shop — all joining an already crowded field that includes Johnny Mack’s, 12th Street Bar and Grill, and Corner Burger.
Still, not every Park Sloper is upset that a vacant storefront will be reborn as a national chain.
“As long as it’s a nice restaurant, I think it’s a good thing to have a business here,” says Alan Bader, a Park Slope resident of 18 years. “If it was a Burger King or a McDonald’s, I might feel differently. But as long as it’s done tastefully, I would say wait and see.”
But as someone once said, all politics is local — will Park Slopers actually eat a cheeseburger at Cheeburger Cheeburger?
“I have a 3-year-old, so if they have milkshakes, possibly,” said Fink.
“But,” he added quickly, “it won’t be our first choice.”