Plans to bring Popeyes Chicken to Roanoke Rapids could mean 60 new jobs for the area.

Jerry Niswonger, vice president of operations for Paramount Hospitality Management, said plans to build a Popeyes Restaurant at the corner of Julian Allsbrook Highway and Premier Boulevard will bring many jobs to the city, hopefully by the fall.

“I’m excited,” Niswonger said. “I know the market really well and I think it will do well. It’s a great location.”

Niswonger said delays in opening the facility have come as a result of delays in Garner, where the company just opened a Popeyes last week.

“The Garner site should have been open in November,” Niswonger said. “If that had been the case, Roanoke Rapids would be open now.”

Niswonger said the Roanoke Rapids Popeyes will be the fourth store his company will open and operate, and he is hoping to have the store open by October. The restaurant will serve breakfast as well as lunch and dinner, according to Niswonger, explaining why so many jobs would be available.

As for the building itself, Paramount Hospitality Management officials are not sure what design will be chosen and won’t know until meetings with corporate entities are completed. The existing building might be renovated or it could be demolished and replaced.

Regardless of which design is chosen, Niswonger said he still expects the process to be 90 days, followed by nearly 90 days of construction, provided there are no delays.

“You never know what you’re going to get into once you start tearing stuff up,” Niswonger said. “We don’t think there’s going to be any trouble with the city. Anytime you get out of the larger cities, the community is easier to work with, and they want businesses to come in and create jobs, so we’re excited.”

Roanoke Rapids City Planning and Development Director Kelly Lasky said she is pleased to hear Popeyes is moving forward with their plans.

“That is definitely good news,” Lasky said. “It’s in line with other projects in the area, and I look forward to hearing from them and working with them to hopefully complete their plans.”

Anyone interested in applying for employment with Popeyes may contact Niswonger at

(3) comments


Why another fast food joint??? Already have Bojangles and KFC why ANOTHER CHICKEN HUT? Something like a nice Chilies or Red Lobster or Cheddars would have been better.


I agree with toodles.we don't need another chicken restaurants while we have Kfc ,Bojangles and Chick-fil-A.Bird is not the word here.I wished it had been a teppanyaki grill buffet.It would had put to shame these lame Chinese restaurants with it's 11 buffet tables of american ,Chinese,japanese dishes.Looks like I be going to wilson again for better food.


No matter what they do, I just hope they do something soon. Its an eyesore.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.