Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen will open one of the companys most expensive restaurants in Rock Hill next week.
The restaurant will hire about 70 people at its Cherry Road location near Interstate 77, said Greg Vojnovic, chief development officer for Popeyes.
The company demolished the old Firebonz restaurant building and trucked in nearly a million pounds of dirt to fill the site, he said.
While Firebonz was hard to see in the past, the new Popeyes will be built about 9 feet higher than the old restaurant, Vojnovic said.
The owners of North East Plaza Shopping Center are excited about having another restaurant at its entrance, said Will Whitley, partner with Charlotte-based New South Properties, which sold the land to Popeyes.
Before Popeyes, the site had been vacant for a year.
Popeyes is bringing its latest, greatest design, Whitley said.
The anchor store for North East Plaza is also an addition, he said, to what some have dubbed chicken row in Rock Hill.
Bojangles and Chick-fil-A restaurants are close to the Popeyes location.
Popeyes has a cult-like following , Vojnovic said, because the business is food-driven, with chefs in the kitchen paying close attention to quality.
In the first three months of this year, the company opened 23 new restaurants nationwide more than double the number of restaurants it opened in the first quarter of 2012, he said.
The latest Rock Hill location is expected to open Sunday or Monday.
Winthrop University has a Popeyes restaurant in its DiGiorgio Campus Center food court.
Popeyes likes Rock Hill, Vojnovic said, because its the southern entry point to Charlotte and is a thriving city on its own.
Anna Douglas • 803-329-4068