Traffic may never be the same along Route 22 in Colonial Park.
That’s because Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen fans are clucking their way to the newest fast food restaurant in Dauphin County. Popeye’s arrived on Sept. 7 at 4601 Jonestown Road in Lower Paxton Township at the former Long John Silvers.
“This is good real estate,” said franchise partner Max Acharya. “This area in general – Lower Paxton and Colonial Park – needed a Popeyes.”
He wasn’t kidding. Cars have been lining up through the drive-through all week.
In fact, Acharya directs his customers, funneling them into one of two lines headed toward the drive-through. At times, the line backs into Jonestown Road but any traffic disruptions are quickly rectified by Acharya and his staff.
Lonely Monk Coffees roasts up new business in Cumberland County
This marks the first time Popeyes has opened a unit in the Harrisburg suburbs. One of the restaurants operates along North Cameron Street in the city. Acharya’s franchise group, PN Restaurants, operates the Cameron Street unit as well as Popeyes restaurants in Lebanon and York counties.
Popeyes has emerged in the past year as one of the nation’s top chain restaurants. Sales skyrocketed last summer when the chain introduced a new chicken sandwich, sparking a social media frenzy.
A week later, Popeyes started a viral feud with Chick-fil-A and other fast food restaurants over who serves the best chicken sandwich. Last fall the sandwich made a permanent return to the menu and continues to be a strong seller.
According to Restaurant Business, Dan According, CEO of Popeyes franchisee Carrols Restaurant Group in Syracuse, New York, said earlier this year the sandwiches attracted so many new customers, the chain is opening in new markets it never thought possible.
The new restaurant is open 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.