American fried chicken chain Popeyes which made waves when making its U.K. debut in Stratford’s Westfield shopping centre in November 2021, will commence its aggressive rollout when a first sit-down restaurant opens at Stonebridge House in Chelmsford, Essex on Saturday 11 June.
The Louisiana-based brand dialled up the hypometer in London last autumn, with queues for chicken sandwiches and sundaes reportedly lasting for up to three hours. It is a brand which has gained colossal worldwide notoriety, in part thanks to celebrity approvals: Beyoncé and Jay Z served it at their wedding; the Kardashians eat it in their private jet; and Kanyé West has repeatedly, if inadvertently, endorsed its wares.
The company has said it wants to open 350 restaurants across the U.K. by 2031. It has also opened a delivery only ghost kitchen in Whitechapel, east London.
Chelmsford is no stranger to American fast food brands dipping their toe in regional British markets. Taco Bell operated a stealth venue there before reopening sites in the capital. Five Guys, another of the more recent wave of fast food chains expanding across London and the U.K. also has a site in the Essex town.
Next stop ... Carlisle?