Business, Food, News

Lynners line up for a first bite at the new Popeyes

Popeyes opening

Rowan Merryman, left, of Lynn takes a bite of fried chicken as his sister Bobbi of Lynn reaches for macaroni and cheese during the grand opening of Popeyes.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Rowan Merryman of Lynn reaches for a piece of fried chicken during the grand opening of Popeyes in Lynn.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Anthony Anderson of Lynn was the first person to eat at the Popeyes on Boston Street. He enjoyed a 4-piece combo meal and said he would definitely be back again.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

An order of fried chicken waits to be picked up at the counter during the grand opening of Popeyes on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Jeff Satterwhite tears into his chicken from Popeyes.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Jeff Satterwhite sits with his grandchildren Rowan, left, and Bobbi Merryman, all of Lynn, as they enjoy a meal at the newly opened Popeyes.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Christy Merryman of Lynn opens up a box of fried chicken during the grand opening of Popeyes.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Jeff Satterwhite of Lynn carries a tray stacked with boxes of fried chicken to his waiting grandchildren.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Crossing guard Patrick Smith of Lynn was among the first people to grab some fried chicken from Popeyes during the grand opening on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Crossing guard Robert Karakaedos of Lynn was among the first people to grab some fried chicken from Popeyes during the grand opening on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

People file into the front door of Popeyes during the grand opening on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

People file into the front door of Popeyes during the grand opening on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

People file into the front door of Popeyes during the grand opening on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

The line of people stretched around the corner and onto the sidewalk as people eagerly waited for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen to open on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

The line of people stretched around the corner and onto the sidewalk as people eagerly waited for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen to open on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Cars line up in the drive-thru of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for the grand opening on Friday.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

Popeyes opening

Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy and her Chief of Staff John Krol couldn't miss out on the grand opening of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on Friday. The mayor went for the three piece chicken tenders and Krol went for the four piece combo.

(Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN  —Bobbi Merryman awoke at 5 a.m. Friday morning, but not for school.

The 6-year-old has been awaiting the opening of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on Boston Street.

“We saw the countdown until they open sign every time we drove by and she kept track,” said her mother, Christy Merryman. “We thought it would be fun to be at the opening.”

The Merrymans, including Rowan, 8, were among the more than three dozen customers who were waiting in line for the 10:30 a.m. opening as a dozen cars waited in the drive-thru.

Patrick Smith and Robert Karakaedos, Lynn crossing guards, joined the line at the eatery, eager to get their hands on the hand-battered chicken marinated in Louisiana seasoning that’s served with Cajun fries, corn on the cob, mac and cheese or jambalaya.

Smith recalls when there was a Popeyes on State Street and the Lynnway three decades ago.

“I like the food,” he said. “I go to the one in Medford and now there’s one closer to home. I usually get the three-piece chicken dinner.”

Harry Megie was there too. But before he got inside the 26,414-square-foot eatery across from Stop & Shop, he complained about the prices.

“They’re charging $4.99 for chicken wings,” he said. “That’s outrageous.”

When asked why he was waiting in line for what he considered overpriced food, Megie said he thought it would be free on opening day.

“Maybe they’re giving away the food today” he said.

That was not be, so Megie reached into his pocket to pay for the wings.

Eugene Stanko, a retiree who was reluctant to join the line, said Boston Street is the place in Lynn if you want a meal.

“Boston Street is a foodie’s paradise,” he said.  

The restaurant was expected to open earlier this fall, but it turned out they needed a new electrical transformer and a new light pole. The job was delayed because National Grid diverted its construction crews to Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Howard Hymowitz, the company’s director of operations, said all the permits are in place and he wasn’t surprised at the crowd.

“Everyone has been looking forward to the opening and so have we,” he said. “We are ready to rock and roll. We chose Lynn because we are constantly looking for great locations and people who meet our demographic.”

As for Bobbi Merryman, she had just one thing on her mind.

“I want the biscuit,” she said. “I’ve waited a long time for one.”

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