Students will have to find another location for a quick and cheap burger when McDonald’s closes this summer.
The restaurant will make major changes to update the store and improve functionality, including the drive-thru lane, which often backs up into 12th Street and is a common problem for the store.
“It’s going to be completely torn down and rebuilt,” said Jeremy Coleman, department manager for McDonald’s. “We’ll have two drive-thru lanes and everything will be different. We have a basement now and after we won’t have a basement.”
Some changes students and community members can look forward to include an entirely new building and a digital menu that will also display order numbers for customers when their meals are ready.
Coleman said the order number displays are common in other local restaurants, like the McDonald’s in Paducah, Ky.
Additionally, the often problematic drive-thru lane will be changed to allow for a better flow of traffic and more space.
Coleman said the dates for the beginning and end of renovations are tentative, but will be during the summer, when the majority of Murray State students are no longer on campus.
Employees of McDonald’s will either go on unemployment or they will be transferred to another location during the renovation period.
The restaurant has been in Murray since approximately 40 years ago, and has not been renovated since it was first built.
Coleman said the McDonald’s corporation requires the renovations to be made over a certain period of time.
The near 40-year gap in renovations is something students were not surprised about based on the current look of the restaurant.
Megan Gallagher, sophomore from Benton, Ky., said she could tell the building was older, simply because it does not have a kids’ play area like many other McDonald’s restaurants.
She said she has gone to McDonald’s throughout the semester and whenever she is hanging out with friends at night, something common for many students looking for the convenient, quick meal that McDonald’s provides.
She said a change the company needs to make during renovations is the line for the drive-thru, which she has noticed can be quite long, particularly during popular hours such as dinner times.
Gallagher said their plan to do renovations during the summer is the most ideal, especially being located in a college town.
“If there’s ever any time to do that, they should do it in the summer,” she said.
While the renovation will deprive the city of the much-loved McDonald’s burger, other restaurants can continue to satisfy cravings community members may have.
Gallagher said current burger restaurants now have more space that people prefer, as compared to the often busy and more cramped McDonalds.
“While it’s in the process of building, I feel like people would go to other places,” she said. “Even as it is now, I go more to Culver’s because there is more room and it isn’t as busy all the time.”
Story by Mary Bradley, Assistant News Editor