Jollibee is an adored, Filipino-founded quick service restaurant that the late, great Anthony Bourdain once described as the "wackiest, jolliest place on earth!"
Already boasting a Manhattan location at 609 Eighth Avenue by 40th Street, the chain will debut its second area venue just a few blocks down, in the heart of Times Square, this August. The Real Deal reports that the owners have signed a lease on a 7,127-square-foot space at 1500 Broadway, between 43rd and 44th Streets.
An official opening date hasn't been announced yet but, if the interest surrounding other Jollibee destinations is of any indication, New Yorkers will flock to midtown come August.
Fun fact: earlier this year, Jollibee opened its first storefront in Vancouver, British Columbia, and fans camped outside of it for over 12 hours to be the first in line once doors opened. The record for the longest fan campout, though, is three days prior to opening. Yes, that's insane.
Folks constantly sing the praises of the Filipino chain's menu, but the company's most popular product is certainly the Chickenjoy: a hand-breaded, bone-in fried chicken that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, served with a side of savory gravy intended for dipping. The dish's monicker, of course, points to the feeling of joy that rushes through one's body at the mere sight of it.
Other standout traditional dishes include the fiesta noodles, served in a garlic sauce with shrimp and hard-boiled eggs, and the jolly spaghetti, sweet pasta with slices of ham and hot dogs. Happiness all around!
Interestingly enough, Jollibee was actually founded as an ice cream parlor in the Philippines when it first launched in 1975.
"Founder Tony Tan Caktiong eventually added savory items to the menu as customers began looking for hot meals, which over time became more popular than the ice cream," reads an official press release. "In 1978, Caktiong decided to convert all of his parlors to what is now known as Jollibee." Fast-forward a few decades and the chain is now operating over 1,500 stores in 17 countries.
We, of course, can't wait for it to invade Times Square as well.