CONEY ISLAND - The arrival of big chain restaurants to the historic Surf Avenue strip in Coney Island has many local residents excited.

Applebee’s made their grand opening today on Surf Avenue, joining Popeyes and a soon-to-be built Johnny Rockets along the street.

Locals say their arrival can only benefit the business community that continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Applebee’s says it filled 180 new positions, most hires coming from the Coney Island area.