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Sweet Dixie Kitchen Embraces Their Inner Rebel With a #PopeyesGate T-shirt

They’re still unapologetically serving Popeyes fried chicken

Sweet Dixie Kitchen
Sweet Dixie Kitchen’s #PopeyesGate tshirt
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Sweet Dixie Kitchen, the unrepentant Long Beach restaurant serving Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, now sells t-shirts with the Eater-coined moniker, #PopeyesGate.

Eater reported this story last week, where Sweet Dixie owner Kim Sanchez justified her restaurant’s use of Popeyes Louisiana Chicken, and to be appeared unapologetic in countless interviews in local and national media. Negative Yelp reviews hit the place immediately after those reports.

The attention has been overwhelming, with the Long Beach Press Telegram reporting one of the restaurant’s cooks fearing violence, did not show up for work.

Many customers seem unfazed and supportive of Sanchez’s stance. According to Sweet Dixie’s Facebook page, business has never been better. But Sanchez failed to address a few key questions: how do they handle the chicken during transport from Popeyes to Sweet Dixie Kitchen? Do they use proper food handling standards issued by the health department?

The original Yelper complained that he, “saw them quickly bring in two large boxes of Popeyes to the kitchen.” The Long Beach Health and Human Services website page places heavy emphasis on food handling at certain temperatures:

“All potentially hazardous foods that will be held hot must be held at 135° F or above. Although most pathogens are destroyed when reheating to 165° F, some form of pathogens may survive this temperature. Maintaining the food product at a temperature of 135° F or above will keep pathogens from multiplying and possibly producing toxins that could cause foodborne illness.”

Eater reached out to Sanchez to discuss Sweet Dixie Kitchen’s licensing agreement with Popeyes, but has yet to hear back.

Gabriela B., Yelp