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Reintroduction of Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Ties Up Route 7 Traffic

The much-hyped Popeyes chicken sandwich is back and causing some traffic chaos in at least one corner of Arlington.

The sandwich returned to Popeyes restaurants on Sunday, weeks after the chain sold out nationwide amid a national craze. With the return of the sandwich, however, has come problems — some more serious than others.

Around lunchtime today, the sandwich was causing a traffic jam in front of the Popeyes at 4675 King Street — on Arlington’s western border, not far from Wakefield High School.

One lane was effectively blocked along westbound King Street approaching the Walter Reed/Beauregard Street intersection as drive-thru customers waited over 40 minutes to get their hands on the savory combination of bread, fried chicken and sauce. In the eastbound lanes, drivers trying to turn left into the cathedral of cluck also caused heavy traffic.

Leaving the restaurant, college student Bryce Davis of Ft. Washington, Md. was empty-handed.

“I waited at least 30 minutes and left without a sandwich,” he told ARLnow. “The wait is ridiculous. With social media and everything, there is too much emphasis placed on just a chicken sandwich. I heard it’s pretty good, though.”

For Nick Jirasophakul, an Alexandrian who works at a local car dealership, the sandwich was worth the slog.

“I think it’s worth the wait,” he said, chowing down with coworkers. “The sauce really ties it together. The sauce is good and it’s crispy.”

Similar to the drive-thru wait, Jirasophakul and his coworkers reported waiting about 40 minutes inside.

“This is my second time” getting the sandwich, Jirasophakul said. “It’s better the second time.”

Photos and reporting by staff photographer Jay Westcott

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