Popeyes chicken is coming to Buffalo.
The popular fast-food supplier of Southern fried chicken, as well as seafood, will be located near Home Depot and Aldi, the grocery chain that owns the property where Popeyes will build at 2106 Elmwood Ave. in North Buffalo.
Plans on file with the city Office of Strategic Planning call for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen to operate a 60-seat, 2,887-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru window in its trademark red-and-yellow colors. The application cover letter, submitted by APD Engineering & Architecture of Victor, anticipates construction beginning later this month, with a completion date of Nov. 8. The proposal will first be considered at a public hearing at 8:15 a.m. June 18 before the Planning Board in Room 901 of City Hall.
North Council Member Joseph Golombek Jr. said company representatives from Rochester spoke to the Good Neighbor Planning Alliance, a citizens advisory council, May 22, and he was satisfied with what he heard.
“I think it’s a good fit for that section of Elmwood Avenue. It’s going to be a bit suburban looking, but that’s the suburban side of Elmwood. If it was the other side of Hertel Avenue, I would have more concerns about it,” said Golombek, chairman of the Council’s Community Development Committee.
Alicia Thompson, Popeyes vice president of communication, declined to comment because she said the restaurant is to be owned by a franchisee rather than the company, and the project has not yet been approved. Adam Fishel, who submitted the application for APE Engineering, did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The nearest Popeyes is at 6734 Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls, Ont. There is also one in Rochester.
A man who said he was the franchisee of that restaurant and two others in Canada, but declined to give his name, said he had sought to open a Popeyes in Buffalo but never heard from the company.
Alvin C. Copeland began Popeyes in a New Orleans suburb in 1972, selling New Orleans-style spicy chicken. The name – rather than coming from the Popeye the Sailor cartoon character – was after Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, the character whom actor Gene Hackman portrayed in his Oscar-winning performance in “The French Connection.”
In 1992, America’s Favorite Chicken Co. bought both Popeyes and Church’s Chicken, before selling Church’s in 2004. Today, Popeyes is second to KFC with 2,119 fast-food outlets in more than 40 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Cayman Islands and 28 countries, as of April 21. All are franchised except for about 30 still owned by the company.