Popular American fast-food chain Popeyes has announced its first North East store will open later this month.

The brand’s new restaurant at the Metrocentre will open at 10.30am on August 20 with huge queues expected.

The American company first came to the UK in November last year and has opened three stores so far in Romford, Chelmsford and Stratford, but the new venue will be the first in the North East.

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Neil Williamson, Popeyes’ UK Chief Operating Officer and Geordie himself, said: “I am super excited to be expanding the Popeyes® brand into the North East.

“Most global brands that come across to the UK are keen to take over the South first and often don’t consider the North until years later, which is why we always felt it was important to establish Popeyes up North in the early stages of our UK expansion.

 “The North East is an incredible part of the UK with much in common with the brand’s New Orleans roots; fierce local pride; a rich history; appreciation for a good party and above all a big heart.

“I believe that our legendary menu and Southern hospitality will really win the hearts and tastebuds of the North East.”

The new restaurant will be open seven days a week and is situated on the ground floor of the Yellow Mall Qube, at Gateshead’s Metrocentre.

Customers will be able to enjoy Popeyes iconic US menu including southern biscuits and gravy, and 12-hour marinated chicken sandwiches.

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The first three people in the queue will win a year’s worth of free chicken sandwiches while the first 50 customers will also get a free merchandise bag and chicken sandwich.

There will also be entertainment from 11am for those waiting to get inside.

Ben Cox of Sovereign Centros, Senior Asset Manager for Metrocentre, said: “We are delighted that Popeyes® has chosen the Metrocentre for its first restaurant in the North of England.

“This is another fantastic addition to our malls and further demonstrates the strength of the leisure and dining offer at the centre, and its popularity with major international brands.”

The restaurant will be open Monday – Friday 10:30am – 9pm, Saturday 10:30am – 7pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm.

Popeyes already runs 3,700 restaurants across the globe and intends to open more across the UK in the next 10 years.

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