WATERTOWN — The developers of a proposed Popeyes Louisiana Chicken hope to open the restaurant this year.
Engineer Brett Steenburgh on Monday afternoon presented an initial site plan to the town of Watertown Planning Board.
Concerned about traffic getting backed up on Route 3, Planning Board members suggested to Mr. Steenburgh to construct the Popeyes restaurant about 35 to 40 feet farther back on the site, adjacent to the Ramada Inn.
He told them that he’d talk about the idea with the developers and franchisee, Liberty Management, to get feedback from them and then modify the site plans before returning before the Planning Board in July.
“The one issue that came up is traffic,” co-chair Tom Boxberger said.
Traffic must enter the Popeyes site from the Ramada Inn’s entrance. Planning Board members expressed concerns about traffic getting stacked up on the Popeyes property and then be unable to turn left on Route 3.
“Left-hand turns are a killer,” Mr. Boxberger said.
Mr. Steenburgh said that the Popeyes corporate office is working on opening a number of restaurants in the Northeast.
The 2,145-square-foot restaurant will feature red brick and an orange-colored facade with teal accenting. Seating would be for about 50 customers, more than the typical Popeyes, but developers decided to add seating because of the north country’s shortened summers, Mr. Steenburgh said.
Most customers typically use the restaurant’s drive up window, consisting of a kiosk to order the food and the second one to pick it up, he said.
The developers will use the pilon sign on Route 3 and another along Interstate 81, but details have to be worked out for exactly what they would like.
Popeyes is the second new restaurant along that section of Route 3 that would replace a vacated national chain. Ruby Tuesday will soon be demolished to make way for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in City Centre plaza.