Sandy Springs-based Popeyes Lousiana Kitchen plans to open a new restaurant on Peachtree Boulevard in Chamblee.
Popeyes, a Cajun style fast food restaurant specializing in fried chicken and biscuits, hopes to erect a new restaurant on the site of an abandoned Checkers on the south side of Peachtree Boulevard. Checkers closed their restaurant over a year ago, and it has been an eyesore since. Neighboring McDonald's completed their renovation in an adjacent space and a Popeyes opening would be a nice addition to the area.
IHOP opened a new restaurant in a renovated former Hardee's in Chamblee Plaza, directly across the street from the planned Popeyes.
Popeyes plan to replace the existing Checkers restaurant hit a permitting snag with the change in zoning as it relates to what can be built on the south side of the road. Rather than be grandfathered in, Popeyes will have to request a variance to the current policy, because the restaurant sat vacant longer than the period that would have allowed them to be grandfathered in to the older regulations.
Basically, even though there is already a drive-thru, the city of Chamblee passed a resolution that prohibits a new business from having a drive-thru on the south side of Peachtree Boulevard.
Popeyes will go before the city council this coming Thursday to discuss their plans. Popeyes plans to demolish the existing, now dilapidated, structure and erect a new restaurant with a drive-thru. Drive-thrus can account for as much as 50% of a fast food restaurant's volume, so not being permitted to have one would likely end Popeyes' interest in the site.
Popeyes has been busy adding more stores in the metro area with the recent opening of a new location on Moreland Avenue in southeast Atlanta, and the proposal of another on North Druid Hills Road in front of North DeKalb Mall. The chain has also closed some locations such as the one on Buford Highway at Northeast Plaza. After receiving a renovation, the store closed around 2009 before reopening in 2010 as Pollo Campero, a Guatemala-based chicken chain aimed at Hispanic consumers.
Popeyes was started in Arabi, Louisiana in 1972, and today is the second largest quick-service chicken restaurant group measured by number of units. The company has over 1,800 locations but is dwarfed by industry leader KFC (over 17,000 units.) KFC, owned by Louisville, Kentucky based YUM! Brands, has a significant presence in China, while Popeyes has only recently begun to expand its international presence. Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A is larger than Popeyes in terms of revenue but has thus far opted not to expand internationally, which can be a significant growth opportunity in quick-service food.
Many readers were very interested to read Zaxby's would be opening a new location on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta. Is Popeyes planned opening equally as exciting or does Zaxby's have a certain je ne sais quoi that Popeyes is lacking? Are you a Chamblee resident for or against this possible development? Please share your thoughts below.