New McDonald's

Demolition making way for bigger restaurant

The new McDonald’s is set to reopen in July.

Demolition of the Oak Harbor McDonald’s 45-year-old building began Monday to make way for a sleek, new space.

A sign in front of the building said it will reopen in July.

The new McDonald’s will be larger than the current square footage. The current building has roughly 3,600 square feet, and the new one will have 5,241, according to building plans on file at city hall.

Lindsay Rainey, a spokesperson for the restaurant chain, said the additional space will come from the indoor play area. The current building does have a play area, but it is not connected to the main building.

Seating will slightly decrease. The current building has approximately 102 seats, Rainey said, and the new building will have 98. There will also be self-order kiosks for customers to use.

There will be the same number of drive-through lanes, and parking will decrease by a couple of spaces, according to building plans.

Rainey said the new drive-through lanes will have digital menu boards.

Unlike the current building, there will be no basement in the new structure.

Plans to rebuild the Oak Harbor location have been in the works for 10 years and went through multiple revisions in order to meet city guidelines, Rainey said.

A large madrona tree will be removed to make way for the new building as is allowed by city code.

A local woman had hoped to save the tree, but it will need to go. There is no special protection for madronas in Oak Harbor city code, although Coupeville and Seattle have rules to protect the native tree.

“With regards to the tree, we are also saddened to lose such a special tree,” Rainey said in an email. “In an effort to preserve the tree, Barb (Johnson) had offered the neighboring business to take the tree should they desire for the community to continue enjoying.”

Oak Harbor resident Barbara Johnson has been the owner-operator of the local restaurant for 16 years. She was part of the original crew when it opened in 1976, and has since gone on to own 10 locations in the region.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times An excavator demolishes the Oak Harbor McDonald’s on Feb. 17. The madrona tree on the left side will be taken down to make way for the new building, although one woman tried to save it.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times An excavator demolishes the Oak Harbor McDonald’s on Feb. 17. The madrona tree on the left side will be taken down to make way for the new building, although one woman tried to save it.

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