More fast food in Riverhead: Popeyes bound for Route 58


Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is proposing to build a restaurant on vacant land on the north side of Route 58 in Riverhead.

The location is just east of Malvese Equipment on a vacant, wooded parcel that’s bordered by Suffolk County-owned land on the east.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, which specializes in spicy chicken, has more than 2,000 locations around the world; the nearest to Riverhead are currently in Shirley and Patchogue.

Now based in Atlanta, the company was founded near New Orleans in 1972 by Alvin Copeland, who originally called it “Chicken on the Run,” and then, after several months of lackluster results, changed the name to Popeyes, according to the chain’s website.

The land where the Riverhead location is proposed is owned by Herb Obser of Quogue, and Popeyes has a preliminary site plan filed with the Riverhead Town Planning Board showing a one-story, 2,265-square-foot mason building with a drive-through window and 31 parking spaces.

The town planning department said the use conforms with the Business Center zoning that the property is located in, and that no variances will be needed from the town Zoning Board of Appeals.

The property is about one acre.

To date, Popeyes has not come before the town Planning Department although it did get approval from the Architectural Review Board.

Route 58 remains popular with chain restaurants. Sonic Drive-In also has a site plan submitted for a Route 58 location, across from Apple Honda, and Chipotle recently opened a store on the south side of Route 58, across from Riverhead Centre.

Photo caption: A view of the land on the north side of Route 58 where the Popeyes location is proposed. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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