A Popeyes fast-food restaurant could be on its way to Arroyo Grande, but neighbors aren’t chicken to speak out against the project.
Ela Foods Inc. applied last summer to open a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen — known for its Southern-style fried chicken — at the corner of El Camino Real and Faeh Avenue. The restaurant would be a 2,650-square-foot, one-story building with a drive through and 36-space parking lot, according to preliminary planning documents.
The site is sandwiched between a residential neighborhood along Faeh Avenue, Francisco’s Country Kitchen and a Park and Ride bus stop.
Several residents in the neighborhood spoke against the project at a Planning Commission meeting Tuesday, saying it would create traffic in the residential neighborhood, push out existing businesses and create a disturbance from parking lot lights and a noisy drive-through ordering system.
Despite the protest from neighbors, the Arroyo Grande Planning Commission approved the project at the meeting, with some mitigations to help address the neighborhood concerns like acoustic analysis of the ordering kiosk, decorative treatments on a wall along Faeh Avenue, shorter light poles in the parking lot and limiting the drive through hours to 10 p.m., and midnight for the indoor restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights.
The project will now go before the City Council for final approval at an as yet unscheduled meeting.
Popeyes is operated through franchises. The only other location in the county is in San Luis Obispo, though another opened last year in Santa Maria.