Food - Drink
The Southern Fried Chicken Chain That Almost Tasted Greatness
By ELIAS NASH
Popeyes fried chicken is named after a character from the film "The French Connection," but the chain did have a partnership with King Features, owner of Popeye the Sailor Man, for 35 years. Coincidentally, another fried chicken joint also partnered with a cartoon character, but this business never reached huge success.
In the late 1960s, Gene Broome of Columbia, South Carolina, came up with a unique chemical solution that tenderizes fried chicken while infusing it with honey flavor. Broome wanted to put some star power behind his fried chicken business, and when he saw a Yogi Bear cartoon on TV, he settled on the iconic honey-loving bear.
The first Yogi Bear's Honey Fried Chicken opened in Myrtle Beach, then expanded to a total of six locations, before it was sold to Hardee's for one million dollars. However, Hardee's was only interested in Broome's honey-flavored tenderizer, and the chain was neglected; today, only one location remains in Hartsville, South Carolina.