Photo by Jennie McGhan
Construction workers are using dirt movers to clear land, while markers are being placed for the footings of a new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen at 2490 Yakima Valley Highway.
As of Thursday, May 31, 2018
SUNNYSIDE By Jennie McGhan
SUNNYSIDE — Cajun cookin’ is coming to the city.
Ground work is under way on land recently purchased for construction of a new Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen franchise.
The franchise at 2490 Yakima Valley Highway, next to Carl’s Jr. restaurant, is anticipated to open later this year, Hogback Development Project Manager Michelle Blanchard said yesterday.
It is expected to provide 65 jobs at the completion of the $2 million project, she said.
Corporate officials for Popeyes could not be reached for comment.
The property previously owned by George E. Johnson, owner of Skyhawk Land LLC and Johnson Foods, was a part of an asparagus field.
Hogback representatives have said it wasn’t being used for crops and is only a small portion of the field — 37,149 square feet.
Yakima County lists the property as sold April 18 at a cost of $371,480.
City Planning Supervisor Jamey Ayling said a 2,500-square-foot building will be constructed once the plans, currently under review, are completed.
“It takes about three weeks and is nearly done,” he said.
Construction is expected to begin in about two weeks, Ayling said.
“Popeyes has been wanting to expand into the lower valley, and we were able to find them an excellent location,” Blanchard said.
Mayor Julia Hart is already anticipating the opening of the new eatery.
“It’s kinda exciting,” she said.
Getting a new business in town is good for the economy, offering different menu choices and drawing others in, Hart said.
Ground has been broken this past week for clearing the land, and Ayling anticipates it will only take a few months for construction to be complete.
“They (Hogback) are very experienced,” he said of the development company.
Hart said it’s nice to have one more restaurant on what she affectionately dubs “the food mile,” referring to the expanse of Yakima Valley Highway from Mid Valley Mall to Factory Road.
The new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchise restaurant in Sunnyside is the second to be built in the county in the last year.
Last fall, Popeyes opened a franchise restaurant with Synergy Pacific Management at 2412 W. Nob Hill Blvd.