JUST IN: Popeyes opens 4th Dayton-area restaurant; 5th on the way

The Dayton area's newest Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has opened its doors, and another is coming later this year as the region's fried-chicken restaurant competition continues to intensify.

Popeyes opened its Springboro location at 829 W. Central Ave. on Tuesday, franchise owner Pat Gilligan told this news outlet. The restaurant near the I-75/Ohio 73 interchange has been in the works for several months, but opened with little fanfare and is not yet listed on the Popeyes chain’s web site. The 2,600-square-foot restaurant seats about 50 and created 25 to 30 jobs, Gilligan said.

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The Springoboro restaurant is the fourth Popeyes in the Dayton-Springfield area for the Atlanta-based chain, joining locations in Harrison Twp., Springfield and Englewood.

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Another Popeyes is in the works in Kettering — at the site of a former PNC Bank branch on Wilmington Pike in front of a Meijer store. Construction of that restaurant is expected to begin this spring, Gilligan said. The Dayton-area expansion of the brand’s footprint is expected to continue, the franchise owner said.

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The chain known for its fried chicken and Cajun-style side dishes was once a Dayton-area mainstay. Popeyes had multiple locations in the region in the early 1980s, but those closed, and the region went without a Popeyes for several years. When the Popeyes at 3796 Salem Ave. in Harrison Twp. opened in 2001, fans flocked to the restaurant for several days, causing waits of up to an hour.

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Gilligan purchased the Harrison Twp. and Springfield Popeyes locations in January 2016 and has owned Cincinnati-area Popeyes since 2006.

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Competition is growing more intense in the chicken-restaurant market. Raising Cane’s entered the Dayton-area region with its restaurant on Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp. east of the Dayton Mall last year. Chick-fil-A opened two new Dayton-area restaurants — in Kettering and Troy — on the same day in January 2017. Mike’s Nashville Hot opened new restaurants on Far Hills Avenue in Centerville and in Austin Landing in Miami Twp., and Krispy Krunchy Chicken added a Bellbrook location late last year.

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The region also is stocked with KFC, Lee’s Famous Recipe and Church’s chicken restaurants, as well as multiple wing-themed restaurants, including WingStop, which entered the Dayton-area market for the first time about two months ago at Ohio 725 and I-675.

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