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Government - Local

Yorkville officials happy to see residents are loving that chicken from Popeye's

A customer takes their drive-thru food order at about 1 p.m. Sept. 9 at the new Popeye's franchise location near Route 47 in Yorkville.
A customer takes their drive-thru food order at about 1 p.m. Sept. 9 at the new Popeye's franchise location near Route 47 in Yorkville.

YORKVILLE – Yorkville city officials said during the Tuesday, Sept. 22 they're glad to see that city residents are loving that chicken from Popeye's.

Yorkville Mayor John Purcell told city officials and members of the public that, if they hadn't heard or seen already, the new Popeye's location in the city is now open. He said he brought home dinner from there recently and, as a matter of fact, that was part of the reason why he was a couple of minutes late to the City Council meeting on Tuesday.

He said he's seen the restaurant has been really busy since it officially opened and that he's glad to see it.

“It’s always [good] to see new places open in town,” Purcell said.

The comments came after Popeye's opened up in Yorkville earlier this month after about two years of planning.

Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson said Tuesday he's glad the new location finished up all right from a construction standpoint. He said it looked like some traffic control issues with the drive-thru line snaking out into the street during the first few days of the restaurant opening were handled well.

“We’ve had a few calls on it, but nothing major,” Olson said.

Lynn Dubajic, economic development consultant for Yorkville, confirmed the restaurant was expected to open the week of Sept. 7. She previously said during a Jan. 7 city economic development committee meeting the restaurant's location was set to be on the plot of land between Millhurst Ale House and Rosati's by Route 47.

Dubajic had said the franchisee company Z&H Foods will have more than 300 Popeye's locations in the U.S. this year and it is the largest Popeye's franchisee in the U.S., owning 12% of the franchise locations for the restaurant in the country.

Rene Alanis, new store coordinator for H&Z Foods, said Sept. 14 the new franchise made a little less on its official opening day earlier last week, but the store made $20,000 in sales on Saturday, Sept. 12 alone.

"We are anticipating a little more than $100,000 per week," Alanis said.

Olson previously said fast food restaurants in Yorkville typically bring in between $2,500 and $7,500 in sales tax revenue for the city annually. He said that total is based on the additional 1% sales tax for fast food restaurants beyond the city's base sales tax rate.

“There are some restaurants in the city that do more than that band and some that do less than that band,” Olson said Tuesday.

Dubajic previously called the restaurant a "shining star" for the city. She expressed similar sentiments in follow up comments to Record Newspapers on Sept. 14.

"It's unbelievable how many cars are lined up there," Dubajic said.

Dubajic's follow-up comments also come after she previously told Record Newspapers this has been one of the most asked-about city economic development matters for her. She said the community has shown all along they wanted the restaurant in town and that they indeed love that chicken from Popeye's.

"I'm glad that Yorkville's welcomed them with open arms and I hope that continues," Dubajic said.

Dubajic said on Sept. 14 it's also exciting to consider that several restaurants have opened in the city during the pandemic. She said that includes Hacienda Real opening right as Illinois went to Phase 3 of its re-opening plan, Cocina Madre and Popeye's opening within the last few weeks and Pho Shack, a Vietnamese restaurant, expecting to open up this month.

Dubajic said that goes to show there's still a lot of excitement in the city, regardless of the pandemic continuing to drag on.

"We need some good news," Dubajic said.

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