WATERTOWN — A vacant national chain restaurant in Watertown will be replaced to make room for another one, officials said.

A Popeyes Louisiana Chicken will be constructed at the site of the former Bob Evans restaurant on Route 3, also known as Arsenal Street. The Bob Evans building will be demolished to make way for the new restaurant.

Engineer Brett Steenburgh will present a site plan to the town of Watertown Planning Board on Monday.

“Something new, something different,” Planning Board co-chair Pamela D. Desormo said about the Popeyes coming to Watertown.

Just a short distance away, a Chick-fil-A will be built at the spot that the vacant Ruby Tuesday had been in City Center Plaza and along a row of restaurants on Arsenal Street.

Since May 28, Mrs. Desormo and Mr. Steenburgh have been exchanging emails about what the town will require for the developer to get the project approved.

“He wanted to know what’s needed,” she said, adding that the information exchanged also included details about signage that’s allowed in the town and environmental reviews.

There’s already some concerns about traffic getting backed up into the site because it has a drive-up window, she said.

A Popeyes — known for the slogan of “Love That Chicken” that’s plastered on the side of all of its restaurants — is currently located on Po Valley Road on Fort Drum. The Watertown location would be the first off post and would join three others in Syracuse, one in Utica and other franchises in Rochester and Buffalo in the state.

The developer is purchasing the parcel at 21050-110 Route 3 from property owner National Retail Properties. The property is assessed for $1,099,000.

The local Bob Evans restaurant operated in that spot for about 15 years until it closed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Steenburgh could not be reached for comment.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment


Just what Watertown needs, another fast food restaurant.

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