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The North Main Street McDonald's, pictured here, will close next month to start demolition on the 41-year-old building to make way for a new McDonald's building. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)

McDonald's restaurant to be demolished, rebuilt

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The McDonald's on North Main Street in Mitchell will be torn down this spring so the 41-year-old fast-food restaurant can be rebuilt and modernized.

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The building, located at 1704 N. Main St. and originally built in 1973, will close March 24 to allow construction to start, according to Bruce Haines, director of operations for Porter Stores, which owns both McDonald's locations in Mitchell. The restaurant will be expected to reopen by July 1.

"It has served us well," Haines said in an interview this week with The Daily Republic. "We're excited about the chance to trade it off for a new one."

The plan to rebuild the North Main Street McDonald's was approved by the Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission in January 2013. Construction was originally expected to begin last fall, but was delayed due to a heavy workload for many local contractors.

"We just decided to let those contractors breathe a little bit and pushed it into this year," Haines said.

A city building permit for the project, issued in January, lists the cost of the rebuild at $1.3 million. The estimated cost listed on a building permit includes only the structure work and not extras like furniture, fixtures or equipment. Therefore, the estimate is lower than the real cost of the project.

The exterior and interior decor of the new restaurant will resemble the other McDonald's in Mitchell, located at 1521 S. Burr St., which was rebuilt in 2012.

"Everything about it will be more customer friendly," Haines said

There will be a similar amount of seating in the restaurant after the rebuild, but there will be fewer large tables to allow for more private seating. Haines said the new seating arrangement is a response to a change in the way people dine.

"People are more private in their dining experience," he said.

The parking lot will be torn up and regraded during construction, but the restaurant will be rebuilt in the same location on the property, Haines said.

The McDonald's play land will be eliminated from the restaurant in the rebuild. Haines said the decision to remove the play land was given a lot of consideration, but was ultimately made due to the declining popularity of play lands nationwide and growing concerns about child safety.

The decision, Haines said, was made in response to input from customers.

"If they feel their visit is going to be more healthy, then they choose us more often," he said. "We want to make it as safe of an environment as we can."

The new restaurant will have larger, more accessible bathrooms, as well as improved lighting and heating.

"The newer buildings certainly add more for customer comfort and customer care," Haines said.

The employees at the McDonald's, about 60 people, will be offered the opportunity to work at the other restaurant in Mitchell or at others in the region during construction, Haines said.

"We'll keep everybody working that wants to work," he said.

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