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West Main Street Popeyes readies Stamford restaurant

July 11, 2018

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is expanding to Stamford, with a new restaurant set to open soon on the city’s West Side.

The chicken chain is building an establishment at 448 W. Main St. with signs on the property saying the restaurant is “coming soon!”

Messages left for Popeyes seeking more details on the new location were not returned.

On its website, Popeyes describes its menu as “New Orleans style,” featuring spicy chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and other regional items.

In Connecticut, Popeyes runs 22 other restaurants, including in Bridgeport, Danbury, Milford, Norwalk, New Haven, Orange, Stratford and Trumbull.

Popeyes operates a total of about 2,700 restaurants in the U.S. and worldwide.

The parent company of Popeyes, Restaurant Brands International, also owns Burger King and Tim Hortons, and runs more than 24,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

Popeyes was founded in 1972, in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi, by Alvin C. Copeland Sr. Originally called “Chicken on the Run,” the establishment started out serving traditional Southern-fried chicken.

After several months of lackluster performance, Copeland relaunched the restaurant as Popeyes. The name referred to Popeye Doyle, the protagonist of the 1971 film “The French Connection,” with Gene Hackman in the lead role. This time, Copeland sold spicy, New Orleans-style chicken.

The new concept succeeded, and Popeyes’ first franchise restaurant opened in 1976.

Two miles to the east of the West Main Street address, another chicken chain, Chick-fil-A, is seeking city zoning officials’ approval for a drive-through establishment, between Long Ridge and High Ridge roads, in the city’s Bull’s Head section.

The proposal has sparked significant opposition from community members worried about overdevelopment and traffic in the area.

In a letter in May, Mayor David Martin asked the Zoning Board to reject the plan, arguing the new eatery would worsen congestion. The city’s Planning Board has already turned down the proposal.

pschott@scni.com; 203-964-2236; Twitter: @paulschott

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