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By Mike Allen

January 10, 2023 (Santee) – Here’s good news for those who’ve been traveling to Tierrasanta or beyond to get their Popeyes fix. The Louisiana chicken chain will open an outlet here this summer.

Last month, the City Council approved the project for a nearly half-acre parcel at the corner of Mission Gorge Road and Cottonwood Avenue that adds to a growing list of chicken-focused restaurants locally, including Chick-fil-A, Raising Canes, KFC, the Chicken Shop and Pollo Loco.

This one, near the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility and next to Ferny’s Mexican Grill, is planned to be 1,740 square feet, with seating for 18 people inside. The outlet will have two drive-through lanes and no outdoor seating. The corner parcel previously had a King Stahlman Bail Bonds office.

Project developer David Beshay owns numerous other Popeyes Louisiana Kitchens, including two opened last year in San Ysidro and South San Diego, said Othonial Bejarano, of Food Service Concepts, a consultant to Beshay, whose business is based in Murrieta.

According to a recent published profile of Beshay by Restaurant Finance Monitor, he owns more than 200 restaurants including franchise operations of Popeyes, Denny’s and Corner Bakery.

“We’re going through the permitting process now and should start construction in the spring,” Bejarano said. “The restaurant should be open by the summer.”

The outlet should employ about 30 workers, he said. He could not provide the cost of the investment in the project.

Beshay is currently in various stages of building and opening other Popeyes in Menifee, Wildomar, and Vista. He is also opened a new Jack in the Box store in South San Diego two years ago, Bejarano said

According to the company’s website, there are 255 Popeyes in California, including 18 in San Diego County. The chain that began in New Orleans in 1972 has more than 3,900 restaurants in the nation, and some 30 other countries. Last month, the company announced it will be opening dozens of restaurants in Kazakhstan.

Before Santee approved the conditional use permit to Beshay, Santee councilmembers asked about the ability to handle larger number of cars in its drive-through lanes. They heard about a traffic study that determined the expected drive through customers could be accommodated without causing issues on Mission Gorge Road. Upon its opening several years ago, the heavy influx of cars to the Chic-fil A on Mission Gorge caused some traffic tie-ups before a revamped system was put in place.

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