Photo: jetcityimage (iStock)

Just about anybody who’s ever passed by a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen knows of “the Popeyes smell.” It’s far too pungent to avoid. Whether you consider the aroma divine or repugnant, you damn well know when you’re near a Popeyes. The wafting scent of fast-food fried chicken commands attention.

For some residents in Stuart, Florida, the Popeyes smell has become a major day-to-day problem. Palm Beach news station WPTV reports of an ongoing dispute between several Stuart homeowners and a nearby Popeye’s location, which they claim has made the area unlivable in recent months. After the location opened in 2018, locals began to complain about the especially strong smell of chicken emanating from the restaurant, to such an extent that it’s rendered them unable to sit outside.

While “after numerous complaints, Martin County made the owner install an air cleaning system,” those living nearby claim that it hasn’t done enough to solve the problem. One 25-year neighbor observed that “If my wife and I are on the back patio and that wind is coming in our direction and the temperatures are the way they are now, we can’t be out there on the back patio.” County officials are currently working to resolve the dispute between the Popeyes and nearby residents.

On one hand, it’s not entirely difficult to imagine the smell of Popeyes becoming an issue over time, particularly in Florida, a state renowned in the field of oppressive swamp heat. On the other, there are those who will read this story and demand a new Zillow category, clearly detailing purchasable homes within the Popeyes smell zone. It’s a preferential thing, really.

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