Popeyes opened Tuesday in the former Dairy Queen location on North Roan Street (Lee Talbert/Press Photo Editor)
Two local franchisees hope that fried chicken is the key to making a bock on Johnson City’s north side.
As owner Wais Shoja oversaw final preparations Monday for today’s official opening of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a construction crew less than a mile away was busy renovating a former Burger King restaurant on Mountcastle Drive to prepare for an incoming Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits restaurant.
“There’s not another Popeyes for 90 miles, so I think people are going to be excited about us being here,” Shoja said as a few specially invited customers dined on its signature spicy chicken and red beans and rice for a test run of operations. “It’s taken us a few months to get everything together, but we’re finally ready for the grand opening, and it’s looking like we’re going to be pretty busy.”
Popeyes took up residence in the former Dairy Queen at 2602 N. Roan St. after a quick renovation of the building.
The updated restaurant seats 80 diners, offers free WiFi and will feature two large-screen televisions.
But on the other side of I-26, the former “Home of the Whopper” was undergoing cosmetic changes to ready for Johnson City’s second Bojangles’ to take up residence.
A large red-and-yellow sign outside the construction site confirmed the new tenant, as did John Speropulos, President of Mitch Cox Realtor, Inc.
The new Bojangles’ is a project of Philip Trigg, whose Trigg Enterprises already operates the Bojangles’ location at 1709 State of Franklin Road and other restaurants in Jonesborough, Elizabethton, Kingsport and Bristol.