ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Some answers about Popeyes plans in Rochester

Many Med City fans of the Popeyes chicken restaurant chain have been asking, repeatedly, when … or if … the eatery is going to start cooking its spicy chicken in Rochester. I may finally have some answers.

Popeyes
Many Med City fans of the Popeyes chicken restaurant chain have been asking, repeatedly, when… or if the spicy eatery is going to start cooking its chicken in Rochester. I may finally have some answers.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — Sometimes the question is not WHY the chicken crossed the road, but WHEN will the fowl make an appearance.

Many Med City fans of the Popeyes chicken restaurant chain have been asking, repeatedly, when … or if ... the eatery is going to start cooking its spicy chicken in Rochester.

Also Read
Minnesota Rush, the indoor sports complex at 380 Woodlake Drive SE, filed a development plan with the city of Rochester for an 18,000-square-square-foot addition to the 15-year-old complex. The proposed plan would double the size of the building.
Members Only
Heavy lifting is expected to start in July for a 1,700-square-foot addition to CrossFit Credence, owned by Dave and Allie Timm, at 3020 N. Broadway Ave.
Members Only
Craig Cotten, who owns the Book Review comic, gaming and sports card shop in Rochester’s Hillcrest Shopping Center, unexpectedly fell ill last week. Cate Moore, Cotten’s niece, wrote and posted about his situation on social media this week as well as launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover medical bills. She is hoping to raise $30,000.

I deserve some of the blame for that anxiety and doubt. In early 2021, I wrote that Popeyes had filed plans to build a 2,265-square-foot restaurant in northwest Rochester at 5585 Chateau Road.

Then I followed that up with a column about a second Med City Popeyes location cooking in southwest Rochester on the former site of the Bakers Square restaurant by the ex-Toys R Us store.

Both of those columns were accurate, but my predictions for when either location would become a reality were a little bit … optimistic. Since there has been no construction on either site yet, peckish readers with ruffled feathers have been asking if Popeyes’ Rochester plans have flown the coop.

ADVERTISEMENT

That has been a bit hard to answer, since the Florida-based Cajun eatery chain has not responded to questions about the Rochester plans. That is until an unexpected response fluttered into my inbox last week.

While the answer is not detailed, it lays out a “good news, bad news” situation for local fans of Popeye’s Cajun Sparkle seasoning.

I asked to confirm if both restaurants are still planned for Rochester and for an estimated construction timeline.

This is the response from the Popeyes Media Team:

“Thanks for reaching out. Regarding Popeyes restaurants in Rochester, MN, these are currently slated for a late 2023 opening. We will share updated information on estimated opening dates once we have it.”

After years of translating the cryptic language of PR-speak, I interpret that to mean, if things go as planned without any unexpected bumps in the road, the Med City could possibly have two Popeyes serving up its signature spicy chicken sandwich with Cajun beans and rice as a side and a strawberry cheesecake fried pie as dessert by the end of 2023. However, things can always change, particularly the current business environment.

So the bottom line is that the prospects look good for Popeyes, but fans will need to be patient.

Meanwhile, anyone with a taste for spicy chicken now can hit some of Rochester’s local restaurants, like the Nashville Coop, Birdie’s at The Workshop Food Hall or either of the two Rooster’s Barn and Grill locations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

Heard on the Street - Jeff Kiger column sig

Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7798 or jkiger@postbulletin.com.
What to read next
Live music, food trucks, and fireworks to celebrate July 4th at Soldiers Field Park.
Rally attendants held signs and chanted in protest of the recent Supreme Court ruling which over-turned Roe v. Wade in Rochester on July 4.
View photos of the Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade in Blooming Prairie.
Experts warn that simply claiming the benefits may create paper trails for law enforcement officials in states criminalizing abortion. That will complicate life for the dozens of corporations promising to protect, or even expand, the abortion benefits for employees and their dependents.