The franchise is leasing the Stillwell Avenue storefront from Thor Equities,
and the restaurant will be a little larger than a basketball court —
including rooftop seating that overlooks the amusement district. It will
employ about 60 people.
Bringing another name-brand franchise to the area will be a boost to
economic development in Coney Island, Cestare said, which was another
reason he wanted to open in the People’s Playground.
“I wanted to be a part of the rebuilding,” he said.
Whalburgers will be the latest in a slew of burger chains opening in
Coney Island. An Applebees started slinging sandwiches in fall 2013, and
a Checkers and a Johnny Rockets are slated to open on Surf Avenue soon,
as well. But Cestare is confident that there’s plenty of room for
“We love competition — we think there’s enough business to go
around,” Cestare said. “We want people to come down to Coney Island and
enjoy — whether you go to Applebees, Nathan’s, or Wahlburgers.”