Officials break ground for McDonald’s in McArthur
By Paul McManis
Commoner Journal staff writer
McARTHUR — In about 90 days, Vinton County residents can visit the McArthur McDonald’s, but after Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the restaurant, officials claim a new beginning has already dawned in the community.
According to McArthur Mayor Jim Wooddell, McArthur has long been known as a community too small and less economically advantaged to open a national restaurant chain such as McDonald’s, but he said at the groundbreaking event that stigma is now being removed.
“Any time you can dispel the myth that we are too small to have something of this magnitude, it’s a positive thing,” Wooddell said.
He said he believes the restaurant will not harm other businesses in the community, but will add growth and give more people in the area jobs without having to leave the county.
“This can be a real positive thing for the community. It will bring jobs and will be particularly good for young people,” Wooddell said.
The new restaurant will be located at R&C Quickstop, located across from Vinton County High School on Route 50 just west of McArthur. Rick Hensler, co-owner of the property, said he has been working to bring the restaurant to the area for some time and is now happy to see it is on its way to providing another quality business to the area.
“I’ll be even happier when this is finished. The ending is always better. It’s a task that’s finally going to get finished,” Hensler said.
Another official happy to see the restaurant construction progress is McArthur McDonald’s manager, Becky West-Lenegar.
West-Lenegar has been working at McDonald’s restaurants in Wellston and Jackson for 12 years, and said she is prepared to jump into the role of the McArthur restaurant’s general manager.
“I’m anxious. This is something I’ve worked on for 10 years. I’m glad to see it come to the community,” West-Lenegar said.
She said she has great expectations for when the restaurant opens and is glad to see more opportunity given to people from Vinton County.
“It’s going to be huge. I think it’s going to be a big success all of the management team are from here and they all have a passion for this,” West-Lenegar said.
McArthur McDonald’s owner Brad Munn said it has been his goal from the beginning to bring as many people from Vinton County as possible to work the restaurant.
He said the process of shifting personnel has began and training will begin soon for people to work in both the McArthur and Wellston restaurants.
When the hiring process is complete, the McArthur restaurant provide jobs to between 45 and 50 people. The building will seat about 50 to 60 people and the parking lot will accommodate nearly 40 vehicles.
Jobs won’t only be granted when the building is complete. Officials said construction for the McArthur restaurant will be completed by as many local contractors as possible.
With nearly $2 million invested from parties involved, some believe the addition of a McDonald’s is sure to revitalize an area that has long been deemed too small to support national business chains.
“This is a great relief to a new beginning. … Absolutely an excellent addition for McArthur and the community,” Hensler said.