Popeyes Lousiana Kitchen is set to open its first Johnson City location at the former Dairy Queen building along North Roan Street.
A little taste of the Big Easy will soon be coming to Johnson City.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a fast food restaurant that specializes in fried chicken, jambalaya and red beans and rice, is set to open its first location in the Tri-Cities in mid-July, according to co-owner and manager Wais Shoja.
The restaurant will be located in the former Dairy Queen building at 2602 N. Roan St.
“The hype for it is there and we believe that there’s a lot of room to grow. KFC is pretty saturated everywhere, but Popeyes can grow when it goes to an area. We believe the Tri-Cities is a good area,” Shoja said.
Construction is under way at the location, and Shoja said the building is being completely remodeled.
“We pretty much just redid everything inside to keep it up to date,” he said.
Shoja will be running the location with his family, who has operated a number of other Popeyes franchises in Washington, D.C., Maryland and New Jersey.
After looking for a new area to start another location, Shoja said he and his family decided the Tri-Cities market would be the best location because the area isn’t as saturated with Popeyes locations.
“We saw that the Tri-Cities was a great market for it and there was none in that vicinity and we thought we would bring it over there,” he said. “The KFCs, Zaxby’s, Bojangles, they do well over there and it seemed like Popeyes would be something that a lot of people would be excited about.”
Shoja said there are already plans to open a Kingsport location once the Johnson City Popeyes is up and running.
The restaurant will bring about 45 jobs to the area.
Shoja said the restaurant will begin accepting applications in the next few weeks.
Founded in New Orleans in 1972, Popeyes has more than 2,000 locations across the world. About 1,600 locations operate in the United States in Texas, California, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Popeyes is operated by Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises Inc.