The first weekday lunch rush after the return of Popeye’s chicken sandwich was a predictable madhouse today, with an hour-long wait at the chain’s Times Square location.
The line, which weaved through the store three times before extending out the door and down the block, was full of a mix of some of the sandwich’s die-hard fans as well as some newbies who were hoping to try the fried hit for the first time.
“I had it once. He had to go all the way to Tokyo to have one,” said one man waiting on line, pointing to his friend.
Two men were slowly walking up and down the line of those still waiting outside, carrying a few bags and whispering, “Sandwich. Twenty dollars,” under their breath. No one seemed to be taking them up on the offer.
At one point, a passerby walked back and loudly asked, “What’s this line for? What the hell, are they giving out free food?” which prompted someone to yell back in return, “It’s the chicken sandwich! Haven’t you been on the internet in the last six months?”
It hasn’t quite been six months since, in the fact of unprecedented demand, Popeye’s announced they had officially run out of their surprisingly popular new menu offering (just 68 days, to be exact). Now, the sandwich is back on the menu to stay after making its return yesterday. (The date wasn’t a coincidence. The chain picked a Sunday return date to troll its main competitor, Chick-fil-a, which is famously closed on Sundays.)
If the promise of long lines don’t scare you off, you can find a list of Popeye’s New York locations on their official site. Craving a fried chicken sandwich but don’t want to brave the crowds at a chain restaurant? Our food and drink team recommends the chicken sandwich at The Commodore or Cheeky Sandwiches, which both require wait times far less than an hour.