COLUMBIA - The original McDonald's in Columbia on Business Loop 70 near Providence Road reopened Thursday after three months of reconstruction.
Hungry customers were lined up outside of the McDonald's as early as 3:30 a.m. hoping to be one of the first 75 to go through the doors. Those first 75 customers received either a year supply of Big Mac sandwiches or a year supply of Egg McMuffin sandwiches.
While the restaurant has had many remodelings since it opened in 1959, it was time for the building to be leveled and rebuilt.
The owners made the decision to close the restaurant Aug. 11.
"It just reaches the point where it is more economical, more efficient and you get a much better product to start from scratch and that was basically where we had reached with this restaurant," said Lili Vianello, the Public Relations Liaison for McDonald's of Columbia.
The new restaurant now has eco-friendly features. Lights are automatic when someone enters an empty room and the temperature of the building is automatically adjusted as needed.
Another new aspect of the restaurant is the front counter. When customers make an order, they receive an order number on their receipt. Vianello compares it to a drive-through. When the number appears on the screen, the customers pick up their food at a different part of the front counter than where they ordered it.
For customers wanting food on the go, the new double drive-through lanes will speed up the process.
"We are going to be able to handle a lot more folks a lot more quickly with that feature," said Vianello.
McDonald's has planned a series of events to celebrate the new opening in the month of November. For families, Ronald McDonald will have a Magic Show on Nov. 24 from 4-8 p.m. The official ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.