BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A popular new restaurant will be popping up on the vibrant Fairfield Avenue corridor in Bridgeport.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a quick-service restaurant known for its fried chicken and biscuits, is under construction at 2201 Fairfield Ave. It is the site of a former used car dealership in the city’s Black Rock neighborhood.
Local leaders, including Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch (D) and Director of the Bridgeport Office of Planning and Economic Development David Kooris, joined the new restaurant’s owner Rahman Hashimi for a groundbreaking ceremony Monday afternoon.
The 30,000-square-foot site, which is in front of a Stop & Shop supermarket, will house a 2,500-square-foot building and 500 square feet of landscaping. The Popeyes will also feature a drive-through, according to Hashimi.
Hashimi said he hopes to hire 110 to 120 employees for the new store and maintain a staff of 75 employees. The restaurant, which is under construction, has a 90-day project timeline.
“The faster I open, the faster I create jobs,” he said.
This will not be the city’s first Popeyes. Hashimi owns one at 287 North Ave., which he said has been a success.
“It was a big home run for us,” he said.
Finch lauded the project — and the chicken at the North Avenue location — and said the project would improve the area and economy.
“This is going to open the view to Stop & Shop,” he told The Daily Voice. “It’s going to increase the beauty of Fairfield Avenue and create jobs in the process.”
“We’re removing blight, and we’re creating jobs,” he added.
Big-name businesses have been seeking to open in Bridgeport, Kooris said. He said the city now has that brand appeal.
Hashimi said he plans to open a third Popeyes somewhere in the city. He said he also hopes to open more businesses in the city.
The restaurant’s neighborhood — Black Rock — is in demand for housing, Kooris said. The neighborhood combines a village feel with big-city amenities, according to Kooris.
A total of 55 housing units are now under construction in the area, Kooris added.
The Wall Street Journal recently described Black Rock as “a vibrant neighborhood where middle-class families, artists, downsizing senior citizens and young professionals live side by side.”
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