The chicken sandwich war has migrated to Greenwood.
Two days after Christmas, Popeyes Louisiana Fried Chicken opened at 1211 NE Bypass 72. Aubrianna Wideman, a cashier, described her experience thus far working at the fried chicken chain in one word: “hectic.”
Markivious Adams said he used to go to Popeyes every time he went to Augusta, Georgia, and he hopes the new Greenwood location will be as good as the one there.
“They (Augusta) got good food different from what we got around here. I hope it (Popeyes) lasts,” Adams said.
Jermee Logan, another first-time customer, is “glad it’s here.”
“I think everybody’s not going to pass up fried chicken,” Logan said. “It was was here about 20 years ago and it’s back now, I don’t think it’s going anywhere at all. I’m excited, good luck to them.”
Three Popeyes locations opened 22 years ago, but all have since closed. Fuji Express replaced the Popeyes on 918 Montague Ave., McDonald’s operates out of the former Popeyes location on 1204 Main St. and Hardee’s has taken over the third location on 630 Bypass 25.
The national attention surrounding Popeyes’ chicken sandwich has caused increased traffic, thus helping the chain expand. Wideman said the majority of customers have ordered either their spicy chicken sandwich or chicken tenders.
Managing Principal of Wertz Real Estate Investment Services, John R. Wertz said he saw that Greenwood didn’t have a Popeyes in the immediate area, and “thought it would be successful because of the demographics.”
Multinational fast-food holding company Restaurant Brands International (RBI) purchased Popeyes in 2017, the company owns Burger King and Tim Hortons.
Wertz said RBI, in conjunction with Wertz Real Estate Investment Services, wanted to expand Popeyes to satellite towns — smaller municipalities that are adjacent to a major city.
In July, the City/County Joint Planning Commission was informed that Popeyes won approval for a commercial application to build a fast-food restaurant at 1211 Bypass 72 NE. Popeyes is adjacent to a Stop-A-Minit convenience store and gas station. Customer traffic has become so hectic that a manager hand wrote a sign informing Popeyes customers that if they park at the Stop-A-Minit then their cars will be towed at the owner’s expense. The sign is posted on the entrance door.
Popeyes is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and cars have been lined up, even 30 minutes after opening.