Restaurant being renovated after February fire

Fans of McDonald’s will have another reason to give thanks on Thanksgiving.

The restaurant on Webb Boulevard in Havelock is undergoing renovations after a Feb. 25 fire with a planned re-opening for about a week before Thanksgiving.

“It’s finally under way,” said Bill Purcell, franchise owner of the restaurant. “We’re happy.”

Purcell said the process had been arduous.

“It takes a lot of time even under the best circumstances,” he said of opening a restaurant. “Just drawing up the plans can take two or three months, and then you have to go through the permits, and the city goes through it and the fire department goes through it, and that can take a considerable amount of time.”

An electrical problem in the heating and air-condition system caused the early-morning Feb. 25 fire. The restaurant was not open at the time, and all employees evacuated safely.

Though not a large fire, the restaurant sustained smoke and water damage.

“The building has been completely gutted,” Purcell said. “The only thing original are the four walls.”

However, the new restaurant design has some added features.

“It will be the first one with a three-window drive-through,” he said. “It means we’ll be able to hand out two orders at the same time. It will have a lot of new features and the design is different. It’s a total rework.”

And, he said the interior would be decorated with an appropriate theme.

“We’ll have some things to honor the Marine Corps, and we’ve invested in some artwork that will show our support for the Marine Corps and we’ll have some local elements as well,” he said.

The store’s planned opening is scheduled about 1 1/2 months after McDonald’s introduces an all-day breakfast menu that Purcell said is getting a lot of attention.

“There has been so much consumer talk on this,” he said. “Consumers love our breakfast, and they want to eat breakfast at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., especially on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Purcell said the Webb Boulevard store is in the process of hiring about 45 workers. Those interested in applying can do so online at https://mylocalmcds.com/webb-blvd-hwy.

Purcell said he appreciated the patience of the community.

“What happened was unexpected, an electrical fire, a fluke thing,” he said. “We’re looking forward to being back.”