Does Popeyes Chicken

Does Popeyes Chicken have anything to do with Popeye the Sailorman? There is certainly no indication of it in the outlets around here, but maybe at one time there was.

No, Popeye Doyle.

Nope. According to Wiki, it was originally called “Chicke on the Run.” Later it was renamed to Popeye’s after the character in The French Connection. Of course, later on it did license Popeye the Sailor in advertising since the cartoon is more embedded in popular consciousness than the movie detective.

It is not named after Popeye the Sailor:

“Popeyes first opened in Arabi, Louisiana, a suburb outside New Orleans, Louisiana in 1972 as “Chicken on the Run,” a chicken restaurant owned by Al Copeland. The name was changed shortly afterwards, but it was not named after Popeye the Sailor, as one might surmise. Instead it is named after the fictional detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in the movie The French Connection (in turn based on a real detective Eddie Egan, whose nickname did not derive from the cartoon character, either). The chain would later license the cartoon characters for use as a promotional tool, which added to the confusion as to the source. Recently, however, Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits has omitted the use of “Popeye the Sailor” in promotions; one reason given was the inability to market their food effectively with a sailor character.”

As the OP, I send many thanks to the first three responders. I am going to have to start using wikipedia!

I’m amazed. I always assumed it was named after the nickname of the founder, or something. Why the heck would they name it after a guy who had nothing to do with chicken?
Considering the bar scene in The French Connection, I don’t think I want to order the Shakes at Popeye’s.

Actually my first thought was Popeye’s own web site. Looks like Wikpedia mostly quotes that.

Yeah, All I can think about now is people picking their feet in the restaurant.

Speaking of oddly named chicken places, wasn’t the Atlanta based Chick-Fil-A once named Dwarf House or something like that?

Only in Poughkeepsie.

I’ve actually only had Popeyes once (about a year ago). I bought all sorts of stuff because I thought it looked great, but it made me sick…so no more.

My introduction to the chain is that I always remember driving through Chicago and they had an overpass on I-85 that had a Burger King and Popeyes…I always opted for BK.

Yer all missin’ the point. “Popeye” Doyle used to take the confiscated drugs, mix 'em up with what wass left in people’s drinks, shake up up, and call it a “milkshake”.
Gene Hackman saw the real Popeye Doyle do it in a raid, and copied it for the movie.


So the restaurant was named for its milkshakes, because of the scene in The French Connection? And the chicken was just because they needed some eats to go with the milkshakes? I’m not sure I get this!

Yes, the links don’t seem to explain why the restaurant was named after Popeye Doyle.

As an aside, we have have Popeye’s restaurants here in Panama. The name in Spanish (this goes for the cartoon character too) is pronounced approximately Poh-PAY-yay, which takes some getting used to.

Their dirty (Cajun) rice is not bad - not nearly as good as real dirty rice, but the best we can find in the benighted Bay Area.

I’m just chiming in to mention that some friends of mine once convinced someone that the store was actually “pope yes” chicken.

We still call it that sometimes.

Is it possible that this is like Baby Ruth bars? A company wants to name a product after a famous character but doesn’t want to pay the licensing fee, so they name their product after someone else who has the same name.

I could have sworn when I was a kid I had food from there that had Popeye the Sailor Man on the box/bag.

You probably did. As has been said already, they used to license the character but no longer do.