Mitchell's Main Street McDonald’s to be rebuiltThe new fast-food restaurant would resemble the other McDonald’s in Mitchell, which is located at 1521 S. Burr St. That restaurant was redone in 2012.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
A 40-year-old McDonald’s restaurant in Mitchell will get a complete makeover this year.
The Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission approved a rebuilding plan Monday for McDonald’s at 1704 N. Main St. It opened in February 1973.
The new fast-food restaurant would resemble the other McDonald’s in Mitchell, which is located at 1521 S. Burr St. That restaurant was redone in 2012.
It will take 95 to 100 days to complete the project, according to Anthony Thompson, of the McDonald’s Corp.
Bruce Haines, the director of operations for Porter Stores, which owns the two Mitchell McDonald’s, and civil engineer Sean Murphy also attended the meeting to speak on behalf of the plan.
Haines said the work will begin in either August or September.
“We’re going to tear it completely down and start over,” he said.
It is a “substantial” investment, Haines said, but he declined to reveal the estimated cost.
Whether the revamped building will include a new play area is yet to be determined, according to Haines.
“Today at the meeting, we just did a prototype or a footprint of a building to apply for the permit,” Haines said in a follow-up interview with The Daily Republic. “As we’re doing the development of the plans, we have not included it. We haven’t made a final decision on that yet.”
While numerous factors are at play, Haines said building costs are foremost.
“It’s always the economic factors that have to be determined first,” he said. “You have to be able to justify what will serve the public the best.”
The other main consideration, Haines said, relies on customers.
“We’ve had people tell us ‘we sure hope you replace the play land,’ and we’ve had customers tell us ‘I sure hope you rebuild without the play land,’ ” he said. “We take that all into consideration.”
Nationally, he said play lands have decreased in popularity, in part to ever-rising concerns about children’s safety.
“Health and safety is a No. 1 priority to customers,” Haines said. “Whether it’s a toy at a day care or a play apparatus at McDonalds, kids expose each other. It’s an added expense, and it’s an added caution that we want to take to make sure all kids that come to the restaurant are in as safe of an environment as we can make it.”
Plans for what the building will look like should be finalized within the next 60 to 90 days, he said.
“We’ll be forced to make a tough decision in the next couple months,” he said. “We’ll listen to what our customers have to say. The great thing about America is … If they don’t like what you do, they don’t come into your restaurant very often. You want to serve the public. When you do that, people vote with their feet — they come to see you.”
Whether the play land makes the final cut or not, though, Haines compared the excitement level of the new build to first-time homeowners.
“It’s really an exciting time for McDonalds,” he said. “It’s exciting to be a part of taking down the old and building new. … It’s a chance to put your best foot forward.”
The restaurant employs about 60 people. Haines said since there is another McDonald’s in Mitchell, and several in the region, employees will be offered the chance to put in hours at other restaurants while the North Main Street location is closed.
“We can switch them around,” he said.
In addition, some summer employees will be back in school in the fall, which is one reason for the construction schedule.
Commissioner Bernie Schmucker asked if the new restaurant would have improved drainage.
“We did what we could with it,” Murphy said. He said drainage there is challenging.
There are more than 34,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the world, with locations in 119 countries and territories. The fast food titan reports it serves 68 million people every day.
The Daily Republic’s Candy DenOuden contributed to this report.