A Popeyes could be coming to Arroyo Grande, but some neighbors aren’t happy

A Popeyes restaurant on Feb. 21, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
A Popeyes restaurant on Feb. 21, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Getty Images

Arroyo Grande could soon be getting its very own Popeyes, but neighbors say the proposed location isn’t a good fit.

Ela Foods Inc. has applied to open a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen at the corner of El Camino Real and Faeh Avenue, according to a city staff report. The restaurant would be a 3,146-square-foot, one-story building with a drive through and 31-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.

Popeyes is a southern-chicken-inspired fast food chain operated through franchises. The only other location in the county is in San Luis Obispo, though another recently opened in Santa Maria.

Some neighbors on Faeh Avenue worry the project, especially the drive through, will increase traffic on their residential street.

“Of course, everybody is upset,” said Teri Tardiff, who lives across from the proposed site. “The exit for the drive through is right in front of my house. This is a family neighborhood, with kids and with traffic already on Halcyon.”

Tardiff said she and her neighbors were notified last week of the potential Popeyes, and have since mobilized to try to stop it. She and a group of 10 other residents spoke at the Traffic Commission meeting Aug. 14 to protest the restaurant and plan to continue at future meetings.

“I don’t know where this is with the city or if it can still be stopped quickly,” she said. “It’s frustrating. Everybody is frustrated.”

The proposed restaurant isn’t a done deal just yet — it is still in the very early permitting stages, according to Community Development Director Teresa McClish.

McClish said discussion on the proposal will be continued at the Traffic Commission’s next meeting in September. After that, it will go before the Planning Commission at an as-yet unscheduled date for further consideration.

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