Ali Kassam, a Popeyes franchisee out of Winder, said at the end of April 2012 that partners had come to an agreement about terms of the lease for the old Mrs. Winner’s building, 808 Martha Berry Blvd. But Kassam said Monday afternoon that Popeyes corporate franchising office had rejected the location.
“They did not approve that particular site,” Kassam said. “We are looking for another location in Rome.” Earlier this year, Kassam said he and his partners were on the way to Chattooga County to look at a site in Summerville when they saw the vacant restaurant in Rome and thought it would be an ideal location for Popeyes.
Kassam said the Popeyes officials felt the site on Martha Berry was not a prime location, but could not elaborate about why the location was not desirable.
The location is within two blocks of a Bojangles Chicken and Biscuits, a Wendy’s, an Arby’s, a Western Sizzlin’ and a Honey Baked Ham franchise. Mrs. Winner’s closed the store in October 2010 and the building has been vacant ever since.
Kassam is the sole owner of one Popeyes and is a partner in several others.
He said he is looking forward to developing a restaurant in Rome and bringing close to two dozen new employees to the community.