McDonald’s brings smiles to McArthur
By Paul McManis
Commoner Journal staff writer
McARTHUR — In its first full hour of operation, the McArthur McDonald’s served well over its first 100 customers, and according to those who ate there Thursday morning, the traffic isn’t about to stop.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 9:45 a.m. Thursday to celebrate the opening of the restaurant and shortly thereafter the crowds waiting outside the building were permitted to come in and order for the first time.
The first one in the line that formed outside the building was Vinton County student Deion Riddle, who said he is happy that the restaurant is located close to where he attends school.
Riddle said his trip in wasn’t his last trip to the restaurant. In fact, he would be back later in the day again to enjoy what the new facility has to offer.
The first 100 customers through the store received gift cards for one free Egg McMuffin or Big Mac a week for a year.
Just over a half hour after Riddle came through, the restaurant’s 100th customer, Michele Royster, stepped foot inside the building.
Royster said she came in to the restaurant to use a gift card that was given to her at Christmas. She said she is happy to see the restaurant in her hometown and is especially glad to see jobs have been added in the community.
“I’m excited to be here not only because it’s McDonald’s but because it’s jobs,” Royster said.
Royster said the restaurant will be especially nice to have in the community when sporting events are being held across the street at the high school and middle school buildings.
While many of the first customers came through the restaurant with to-go orders, the first customers to sit down and enjoy a meal together in the restaurant were New Plymouth resident Scott Phelps and his son.
Phelps said he is glad to see fast food come into a community that hasn’t been able to offer its residents the type of service McDonald’s offers.
“I think it’s a great thing for them to bring a business like this to the community. There really isn’t any fast food around here,” Phelps said.
He said Thursday’s visit will not be his last and added that his visits to the location will not only include McDonald’s food and drinks, but said he also will be visiting the business the restaurant is adjoined with, R&C Quickstop.
“We’ll be back and the guys next door, they’ll get our gas business, too,” Phelps said.
Brad Munn, owner of the McArthur McDonald’s, said many in the community have been very welcoming since the announcement was made that McDonald’s will be coming to McArthur. He said he remembers the Christmas in Downtown event as one of the initial events where the he and the community were able to begin forming a bond.
“We had a whole lot of people. We had a great day,” Munn said of the downtown event, held in McArthur in early December. He said people in the area have continued to open their arms of acceptance since that time.
“The community definitely has welcomed us,” he said.
R&C Quickstop owner Rick Hensler, who has been involved in the process of bringing a McDonald’s to McArthur from the beginning, said there were several problems that presented themselves along the way, but he said through sacrifice, both on his part and on Munn’s, the restaurant is now open for business.
“It would have been very easy for us to quit,” Hensler said. “I really hope that people appreciate the sacrifices that Brad and I have both made for this project. … I think it’s a great asset to the west end.”
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