Friday, May 12, 2006

Popeye's

Marco wants to know what I have to say about Popeye('s):*

It's true. Popeye's, the international chicken phenomenon, started right here in our (sometimes) fair (sometimes cloudy) city. And those of you who have spent much time here will know that the old Popeye's restaurants were built out of this incredibly goofy looking, black, faux-igneous rock. Most (though not all) of them have been retired, but the buildings can still be seen around town. They're something to behold.

I predict, no, I pound on my bloggy-desk [thump, thump] and proclaim, the day will come when some hipster entrepeneur buys one of these buildings and turns it into a hipster bar/nightclub. Greazy haired kids will stand around smoking Parliaments (or whatever it is they're smoking by then) and drinking PBRs (or whatever it is they're drinking by then). They'll touch the walls and say, "It's so kitschy! I love it! Can you believe this place used to sell, like, chicken or something?"

Hey, let's start a betting pool. Which location and when? I got 5$ on S. Claiborne** - 2013.

* I hope, Marco, the chicken franchise is fair game, since I got nuthin' on the cartoon characters. Wait, well actually, I remember when I used to come to the city as a wee lad to visit my grandparents, there was a little morning kiddy show done in the Captain Kangaroo mode with a bunch of tykes sitting around in little bleachers, and then they would play Popeye cartoons (it was my principal exposure to the opus). And maybe it had a Popeye's Chicken promotional tie-in, although I'm not sure. Do any other long-term local lads or lassies remember this? Fungible Resource, are you there?

** If I'm not mistaken, they had covered this one with crappy siding, but the storm blew the siding off, returning it to it's faux-igneous glory. I'm not sure that's what actually happened, but it's what I choose to believe happened.


Ask, and ye shall receive.

11 comments:

  1. Popeye and Pals!!!

    I was actually on the show once w/ my brownie troop.

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  2. Thanks for popping up with a Popeye prediction. This will probably happen and the hipster will make some bucks off your idea. (Was the original Popeye's in Algiers or ?) Someone did that with a White Castle hamburger outlet in Albany, NY. It became a mecca for punks, poets, goths, moths and assorted other creatures of the night. BTW your word verification is mxxxgzuu. It must mean something weird.

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  3. Dude, I don't really remember much from Popeye and Pals. But here is a start...

    BTW, Popeyes #1 was out in Chalmette. As far as the mother of all Popeyes, that's still the boarded up one at Claiborne and Toledano, right next to the project. Although I do have fondness for the one at Carrollton and Earhart and even the one on Magazine that was one of the last to get the Popeyes pastel makeover.

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  4. Billy4:30 PM

    Two things. First, I have had this very idea. (Does that make me a hipster. What is a hipster and can it be taught?) I love the lava rock Popeyes. I was thinking that the best prospect would be the abandoned Popeye's at Jackson and Magazine. If we turned it into a hipster bar, we would rake in the dough! Second, with all of the discussion of Popeye and Pals, I was initially getting confused because Pals is a hipster bar in New Orleans wtih an airhockey table and 70's porn in the men's bathroom that took over a classic, old, but closed (I think) New Orleans neighborhood bar. I think that the Pal's owners would be perfect for our hipster Popeye's bar. They could call it POPEYE AND PALS!?!

    When I first came to New Orleans, I had no idea that Popeyes was considered more than just mere fast food. People consider Popeyes to be totally different than KFC or any other fast food chain. I suppose this is because it is home grown. Maybe also because, as people say, the Copeland family still owns all of our local Popeyes so the food is extra good. (I suppose it is somewhat like how people feel about White Castle up north but people take the food from Popeyes seriously. There is no kitsch factor. It is more like how Californians feel about In and Out Burger, I think.) Fried chicken is the pizza of the south and people treat Popeyes like their neighborhood pizzeria.

    For a real thrill, try Super Popeyes in Metairie. They have ribs and beer! The line for the pick up window backs up into Veterans.

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  5. Thanks Fungible Resource. So, it was Chalmette where the original Popeye's was. I'd read it somewhere recently and couldn't remember. I have a cousin who lived on Prytania St for a number of years. He played trumpet on the floating drugstore, The Delta Queen. He would tell me about the fried chicken and I'd drool. He first told me about Popeye's, Louis Armstrong (not the one we knew threw TV) and Professor Longhair.

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  6. How do you spell "through", Marco?

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  7. As a kid in New Orleans, one of the biggest thrills was seeing friends on Popeye and Pals (along with being on the thing). A big deal it was, young Skywalker. The chain/cartoon tie-in was what it was all about. Also, Al Copeland lost the chain in the early nineties I think in bankruptcy court. But stories still abound of his lavish coke parties during the golden age( 70's and 80's). Apparently, the party room in his house on the lakefront was walled with the same black volcanic rocks. Nice.

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  8. This could turn morph/spinoff into a Popeye blog. It might be worth chewing over for those Popeye afficionados. We know you're out right, lurking. And then there's the dance too. Another angle.
    Reading "The Soul of NO" now along with "I Hear You Knockin'"

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  9. Marco6:29 PM

    Popeye's site says that Copeland named it after Popeye Doyle, a character in the "French Connection". In light of those parties mentioned by Zack...

    I guess there are many claims to the originator of the Popeye dance not the recipe. "The Soul of NO" speaks of it. I'll retrace my steps.

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  10. Ah, yes - but does anyone have a picture of one of these lava rock Popeye's? Or can point me in the direction of one?

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  11. That Popeye's blog might not be a bad idea. Jeezum, I didn't know what I was getting into.

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