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VOL. 114 | NO. 139 | Tuesday, July 18, 2000

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By SUZANNE THOMPSON More Popeyes Chicken stores land in Mid-South By SUZANNE THOMPSON The Daily News MIC, the local company that owns and operates 47 Burger King locations throughout the Mid-South, has ventured into a new fast food arena: spicy chicken. "Were really excited to bring a high quality product into the Memphis market. Popeyes is a good, tasty chicken," said Ed Czmut, director of engineering and development for MIC. The Atlanta-based corporation gave its approval for the local enterprise to open three franchise stores in the Mid-South, he said. MIC formed a holding company for ownership of the Popeyes restaurants, Olive Oil Associates. Construction is about to begin on the first Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits the franchise has planned for Memphis at 3187 Coughlin Road, near Interstate 55 and Brooks Road, Czmut said. Olive Oil already operates a Popeyes in Senatobia, Miss. According to a building permit issued by Shelby County Construction Code Enforcement, the value of construction is listed at $463,000. There are four other Popeyes locations in Memphis, but those are owned by a different franchisee, said Scott Hudler, director of corporate communications for Popeyes. The existing locations are built in Popeyes red, white and blue design, but the Coughlin Road location will be built in the companys new "heritage" design, meant to be more reflective of New Orleans, Czmut said. "This will be the first new heritage building built in the Memphis market," Czmut said. This location will be larger than other locations and will seat 60, with larger restrooms because of the restaurants proximity to the interstate, Czmut said. The project is scheduled for completion Sept. 14, and officials are hoping to open the restaurant around Oct. 1, Czmut said. At that time, the company will start construction on a store in Millington, he said. Olive Oil Associates bought an outparcel in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter and will build there, Czmut said. Years ago, Popeyes had a local presence, but pulled out of Memphis for several years. "The second coming of Popeyes was in 1998," Hudler said, referring to the year they re-opened locations in Memphis. Popeyes was founded in 1972 by entrepreneur Al Copeland of New Orleans. During the past three years, the Popeyes brand has extended its reach nationally and internationally, Hudler said. Popeyes operates 125 restaurants in Korea, and has just inked a deal to develop 56 locations in Indonesia. AFC Enterprises is the parent company of both the Popeyes and Churches brands. Hudler said Popeyes had more than $1 billion in sales last year, which puts them in the same league with KFC and McDonalds. MIC also owns five "All-In-One" locations, which include a Burger King, Baskin & Robbins and a convenience store under one roof. Czmut said Olive Oil has not selected the third location on which it will build a Popeyes. He said he is glad to see the restaurant brands presence expand in Memphis. "Its one of the freshest chicken products that is out there and they have excellent side dishes," Czmut said. "We cant wait to open this one and continue development."
PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396