The line-ups were long and the patrons were eager.
Popeyes Louisiana Chicken in Salmon Arm opened on Dec. 30 for drive-thru service only.
Owner Abdul Sheikh said on Monday, Jan. 2, that he and his son, “who is running the show,” are happy with the response to the new restaurant.
“It’s a very nice town, very friendly people,” he said.
Business has been brisk. On Jan. 2 at midday, an estimated 20 vehicles were lined up out the parking lot to the road, with a similar situation on opening day.
Popeyes shut down over New Year’s as the owners weren’t sure if residents would be interested at that time, he said.
Sheikh expects the restaurant will be open for sit-down customers come Jan. 8. Furniture is coming up from the United States but was delayed, he explained.
Popeyes in Salmon Arm won’t be taking phone orders, however, for the foreseeable future.
Sheikh said he is the franchisee for all the Popeyes in the Okanagan, including Vernon, Kamloops, West Kelowna and Penticton. A new franchise was also opened last month in Merritt. His family currently lives in Toronto but is moving to Kelowna to be central to the franchises, he said.
The Salmon Arm location is still looking for more staff.
The menu will be the same as what’s offered on the Popeyes Chicken website, popeyeschicken.ca. Current hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Sheikh said he will revisit the hours in about a week once it’s clearer when people are coming to the new restaurant.
He expects a grand opening will be held in about a month or so.