Local News

Durham's first Popeyes restaurant causes major traffic dilemma

Posted February 21
Updated February 22

— Durham’s first Popeyes restaurant, which has been open for one week on Guess Road near Interstate 85, has caused the city to issue a traffic advisory for the area, telling drivers to take other routes when possible.

The restaurant is family-owned and operated, and the owners were apologetic about any traffic issues it's created.

“We are truly doing our best to try and get folks in and out of here to try and prevent the volume and the extended waits and the traffic that the business has brought to the town,” said store owner and manager Lubna Ghanayem. "I think busy is almost an understatement."

The owners have hired officers to direct traffic and said they would for as long as it's necessary and crowds die down.

The Louisiana-style fried chicken restaurant has created long lines and traffic frenzies at other locations soon after opening, including restaurants in Kalamazoo, Michigan; Lexington, Kentucky; and Columbia, Missouri.

"I got my Popeyes. I'm happy, and I'm ready for my day to begin," said customer Undre Copeland, who has visited the restaurant every day since its opening.

A spokesman from the City of Durham said officials are aware of the issue, but they do not expect it to last long-term, assuming traffic calms once this initial rush is over.


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  • Marvin Sanderford Feb 22, 2017
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    PS, this happened in Raleigh when they opened a Popeyes near Wake Med a few years back. The traffic held up for easily a month's time!

  • Marvin Sanderford Feb 22, 2017
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    I cannot imagine..... The one and only Popeye's opened and caused a traffic jam. For pity's sake Stevie Wonder could have seen this one coming, Jeez! Yet no one planned for this.... not the Popeye's people, not traffic control or the City of Durham or the cops. Why? This should be the biggest question considering the location of the place and how it has and continue to impacted the area.

  • Wayne Judd Feb 22, 2017
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    View quoted thread

    No Mike, you are making that implication. Stop trolling a light hearted news story about a successful business opening.

  • Mike Trekker Feb 22, 2017
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    WRAL this reporting can be considered a racist micro-aggression. The implication being there are a lot of AA people in Durham and they flock to fried chicken establishments.

  • Jeffrey Derry Feb 21, 2017
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    There s one in Oxford NC 20 miles up the road

  • Janet Ghumri Feb 21, 2017
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    Obviously, Charles has never eaten at Popeyes. Considering the traffic wrangles in our northern climes, it doesn't come close. The lines around the building at Dunkin' are not counted, is that it?

  • Tim Orr Feb 21, 2017
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    Owner should have said "I yam what I yam". I wonder if they'll let me pay them next Tuesday for a chicken sammich today??

  • Dmitry Suemeov Feb 21, 2017
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    Wish I could have invested in that restaurant! WOW!