Patriotic red, white and blue banners, flags and a grand opening sign outside of IHOP, 2951 Avenue U, signaled the eagerly awaited arrival of Brooklyn’s latest addition to the popular franchise restaurant chain as doors opened on July 18th.
“We would like the people of this community to feel that this is a safe, comfortable place to gather together with family and friends,” owners Victor and Elizabeth Artieda told the Canarsie Courier.
Victor, 58, came to the United States from Bolivia at the age of 15. He started as a busboy in IHOP’s Jackson Heights location and worked his way up to management at the IHOP Ralph Avenue location over 30 years ago.
That is where he met his future wife, Elizabeth, who was born and raised in Marine Park. They eventually purchased their first IHOP in Manhasset, Long Island, followed by another one in Mays Landing, NJ.
Years later, they felt it was time to expand to a third location in Brooklyn. “You have to keep moving,” Elizabeth said with a smile.
“My wife grew up in this neighborhood,” Victor said. “She attended elementary school two blocks from here, so when a spot was found right here, we could not ask for anything better.”
Together with son Dan and daughter Annie, who help manage all three stores with their Brooklyn store managers and other longtime team members, they got the current location up and running quickly.
With over 70 employees, including local youth, staff members speak multiple languages for the diverse clientele.
The restaurant is large and spacious with plenty of free parking. The wraparound windows afford an appealing view, and there is plenty of bright lighting to highlight the cleanliness of the restaurant.
With colorful wall panels and signage throughout, one message reads, “Smiles Guaranteed.” Victor prides himself on the training his staff undergoes to garner those smiles.
Pleasing to the senses, soft, upbeat jazz music plays softly in the background. Large, colorful balloons adorn the ceiling and tantalizing aromas permeate the air to create a pleasant and homey atmosphere for customers.
“It’s very family oriented and you feel so welcome here,” Elle Abramson said. She likes the quality of the takeout, and her coworkers from a nearby dental office love to have breakfast there before they go to work on Sundays.
Customers agree, with many returning for family celebrations of up to 45 people. The menu offers so many choices for breakfast, lunch or dinner that there is something for everyone at great value.
Besides a 55+ menu, seniors get a 50% discount on Wednesdays, 4 to 9 p.m., and a 10% discount on any full-priced item.
In addition to a kid’s menu, kids under 12 eat free on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 9 p.m. with the purchase of a full-priced adult entrée.
There is an IHOPPY hour and a rewards program with details on their website at IHOP.com.
For Halloween week, kids can get a free Scary Face Pancake from October 24th to 31st, from 4 to 10 p.m. with adult entrée. The Halloween Costume Contest is on October 29th where customers will vote on the employee with the best costume.
“We would like to get to know our customers by name and make them feel a part of our IHOP family,” the Artiedas said. They sponsor ball teams and donate food to schools at their other locations and would like to do the same thing here.
The restaurant is easily reached by car or the B3, B44 or B36 bus.