Yellowknife Mary Brown’s franchisee eyes January opening

Mary Brown's
A Mary Brown's franchise in Guelph, Ont.
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Fried chicken has been in short supply in Yellowknife over the past year, but that’s expected to change in the coming weeks.

That’s because the man promising to bring a Mary Brown’s franchise to the city says he’s close to opening a restaurant across the street from Canadian Tire uptown.

RELATED: Yellowknife’s KFC is dead – long live Lenny Burger 

“I’m looking at getting the keys from the contractor somewhere between the 10th and 16th of January,” Perry Campbell told Moose FM.

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“At which time I will start the process of bringing staff in and getting them trained. I’m pretty confident that we’ll probably be open before the 1st of February.”

Mary Brown’s is a Canadian fast-food chain known for its chicken, sandwiches and potato wedges. Campbell has been trying to bring the city its first franchise since 2002 for over three years now.

There’s been somewhat of a fried chicken shortage in the NWT capital since last August when the city’s lone KFC franchise closed its doors after 47 years in operation.

Campbell's restaurant will be located at the intersection of Old Airport Road and Borden Drive.
Campbell’s restaurant will be located at the intersection of Old Airport Road and Borden Drive.

Campbell hoped to fill that void by opening a Mary Brown’s on a plot of land owned by Westown Tire earlier this year.

But those plans changed once it became apparent the building would have to be moved to the back portion of the lot closer to Borden Drive.

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Campbell says the change will enable him to provide more parking space and greater drive-thru access. It also means customers will have to access the restaurant from Borden Drive instead of Old Airport Road.

Now that he’s closer than ever to bringing a Mary Brown’s franchise back to the city, Campbell says the reality of the situation is starting to set it.

“It’s real now,” he said. “I’m at the point where I’m ordering uniforms now and talking to some of the staff I’m looking at hiring.

“The response I’m getting from the people of Yellowknife is just overwhelming. People are crying for it and I hope I’m able to provide that to them in a very short time span.”

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Before launching the restaurant, Campbell spent over three decades working in law enforcement and 15 years running a courier service.

He currently runs Purolator, but says he’s getting ready to make Mary Brown’s his top priority.

Campbell hopes to hire as many as 25 people to run the restaurant once it opens.

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