With seating for more than 100 customers and parking for 91 vehicles, including 22 spaces for buses, business owner Susan Erwin said she was told the 5,100-square-foot restaurant is the largest McDonald’s in the Interstate 81 corridor.
The restaurant replaced the original McDonald’s at 14634 Apple Harvest Drive, which opened in 1981.
A weeklong grand opening celebration to benefit various charitable organizations is planned for the second week of October, Erwin said.
The neighboring Krista Lite Motel was torn down to make way for the larger restaurant, which features two drive-thru lanes that allow more than one customers to place an order at the same time. With the additional sales volume, Erwin expects more than 30 additional employees will be added to the staff, increasing employment to about 100.
While construction took longer than expected due to rock removal, portions of the old structures were recycled in redeveloping the new restaurant, according to Erwin.
All but one of the contractors that have worked on the project are from the area, which Erwin said was really important to her.
While Erwin owns the business, the land is leased by McDonald’s from Nancy Lillis, who had owned the motel, she said. Lillis is listed as the president of the corporation that owned the motel, which was renamed Lighthouse Enterprises Inc. earlier this year, according to West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant’s office.
“The original landscaper that landscaped the store 30 years ago did it again, and the original welder that installed the big high-rise (sign) checked the wells and painted it ... again,” Erwin said.
The high-rise sign, which is about 120 feet tall, is practically the only publicly visible reminder of the original McDonald’s that still remains, according to Erwin.
To improve access to the restaurant, an eastbound turn lane was added along Apple Harvest Drive to improve access to the restaurant, which now faces Winchester & Western Railroad.
The old restaurant faced Apple Harvest Drive and customers were sometimes backed up into the intersection with the busy road. There were 29 parking spaces for the old restaurant and seating for little more than 70 people.
The length of the traffic signal green light that allows customers to turn onto Apple Harvest Drive from the restaurant was extended by four seconds, Erwin said.