Work on larger McDonald's starts soon
Work to replace the McDonald’s in Lenoir with a larger one is now scheduled to start June 19 rather than sometime in 2015, as owner John Link originally estimated.
“The business demands were there and I worked with McDonald’s to try and accelerate it and get it done sooner,” Link said.
The project will take 120 days, Link said. The current restaurant, on the corner of Harper Avenue and Morganton Boulevard, is expected to remain open all but the last 30 days.
The first phase, set to take 20 to 30 days, will be readying the property for the new building, which will be built between the current restaurant and the Bonnie Mist Car Wash.
The second phase, about 60 days, will be construction of the new building, and the final, 30-day phase will be the demolition of the existing building and the move into the new one.
Of his concerns about being closed for a month, “the main thing is my employees,” Link said. He has almost 100 employees and doesn’t want to lose any of them but can't employ them while the business is closed.
Link said the new building will be more than double the size of the current restaurant, going from 2,000 square feet to 5,500, and will have 50 percent more seating, going from 80 to 120 seats.
It will have two, side-by-side drive-thru lanes to serve as many as 180 cars an hour, Link said. The lanes will be able to hold 23 cars at a time. If there were 23 cars in line at the current building, Link said, cars would be lined up out into the road.
The new restaurant will feature a more modern, arcade-style design, stone work on the exterior and a redesigned interior with different seating zones like bars and large tables, as well as more electrical outlets for guests to plug in phones and laptops.
Another feature Link wants to bring to the new location is a "local wall," the size of a billboard and filled with photos of Lenoir landmarks, to bring a local and homey touch to one of Lenoir’s busiest restaurants. People feel more of a personal connection to a business with a touch like that, Link said.
“I just want customers in Lenoir to feel it’s part of their heritage,” he said, “a place for them to go enjoy a meal with their families and remember good times in Lenoir.”