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Work nearly complete at McDonald's

Gary and Chrissy Hurst know the Farmington McDonald’s customers who frequent the Karsch Boulevard location are anxious for the new location to open.

And, they are just excited as well. The couple are hoping to open the new restaurant between Nov. 21 and Nov. 29.

The original McDonald’s – which was built in 1983 – was torn down in August to make room for the new restaurant.

They have a lot of activities and special events planned for the opening. Chrissy said the first 100 dine-in guests on opening day will receive a card for one free extra value meal a week for one year. While the exact date is not yet known, the couple say the store will open at 5 a.m.

On the second day of opening, every 20th car in the drive-thru receives a card for a free extra value meal every week for a year.

There will be prize giveaways, including a 55-inch television. Ronald McDonald will also be making an appearance.

“As soon as we know for sure when we can open, I’ll have a big count-down banner,” Chrissy said.

Preparing for the opening, crews were busy both inside and outside on Monday – with work going on in every area of the restaurant on the inside while stripes were being painted on the parking lot outside.

When it came to the interior design, Chrissy said she looked at the city’s motto for inspiration.

“We tried to do a little play on ‘Tradition and Progress’,” she said, noting she tries to tie in the area with each restaurant they own. The couple own the West Columbia location, as well as the restaurants in Arcadia Valley and Fredericktown. Other locations they own included Perryville and Chester, Illinois.

There are very unique woodgrain features mixed in with modern steel piping on the tables and benches – including a wooden shiplap wall which Chrissy admits is her favorite feature.

One dining area features a table with a quilt-top appearance.

“You have a diner feel with these modern pieces,” she said. “I tried to do a play on what I thought Farmington is.”

Chrissy said one of the features in the new, state-of-the-art restaurant will be the two, double-facing order kiosk – which, on Monday, were not yet in place.

Employees once stationed behind the front counters will now be out by the kiosk to help customers.

“They will be out here taking orders, helping you (place) orders, teaching you how, or doing it for you … whatever the case may be,” she said.

The kiosk screens are larger, giving what Chrissy said is a better look at the McDonald’s menu than the menu boards behind the cash registers.

She said the new ordering system is not going to take away employment – as has been mentioned by many since the arrival of the new ordering systems.

“We have to have one person at each station, plus someone to run the food, plus we’re now having a hospitality team,” she said. “We’re actually doubling the people we would normally have (in front).”

There were about 55 employees at the former location before closing and demolition in August. They already have 68 employees on board, with hopes to employ up to 75 around the holidays.

Another new feature is a separate “presentation” area where the food is delivered to the customer or, for those using the McDonald’s app, orders can be picked up for dining in. A separate parking area outside near the drive-thru is made available for to-go app purchases.

Also unique to the drive-thru is a pull-up window for “parked” orders, necessary when an item is not ready once the customer gets to the pick-up window.

The new kitchen area is twice as large as the former location, which Gary said made for tricky, sideways navigating when fully staffed.

“We have a whole area for prep people – we really do make our own salads, we really have fresh eggs,” she said.

The beverage area – including McCafe, soft drinks and shakes is now centrally located in one area of the kitchen.

Chrissy added there are a lot of upgrades that may not matter to the customer – but will allow the employees to put together orders in a more efficient manner.

There is also a “pass through” at the front of the building – which means customers looking for parking will no longer have to turn back out onto Karsch Boulevard.

She was also pleased to show the PlayPlace at the new area – something not found in every restaurant.

“You have to get special permission from McDonald’s to get a PlayPlace,” she said, adding the chain looks at how many kids per family households in the area, along with the number of Happy Meals sold.

The new area features a restroom within the area, along with both dining seating and bench seating for parents.

“I’m proud of it … I think people will love it,” she said, adding there is more seating available for families in the area.

The two said building a new restaurant altogether was a “no-brainer” for both the couple and the corporation.

“A lot of people are getting more excited,” she said. “I was in the drive-thru when we closed for that first two days. There was still a customer trying to come through.”

“I think everybody is excited, especially seeing it come together,” Gary said.

Community Calendar

Thanksgiving Lunch

Covenant Bible Church, 5165 Highway D in Farmington, is hosting a free lunch from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nov. 23, with games afterward for the entire family. All are welcome.

Holiday closing

The St. Francois County Environmental Corp. (landfill) will be closed on Nov. 23.

Gospel Singing

Big River Church, 17534 East State Hwy. 8 in Mineral Point, will host a gospel singing featuring The Wanda Mountain Boys 6 p.m. Nov. 25. For info call 314-973-3014.

Leadwood Lodge Meets

Leadwood Lodge #598 will host a family dinner 6:30 p.m. Nov. 25, followed by a meeting at 7:30 p.m. with a 50 year pin presentation. All Master Masons are welcome.

BBQ Fundraiser

Samaritan Lodge #424 will host a BBQ fundraiser 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 25 in the parking lot across from Boyer Funeral Home in Bonne Terre. Serving pork steaks, brats, BBQ burgers, and hot dog plates.

Health Center Board Meets

The St. Francois County Health Center Board of Trustees will meet 4 p.m. Nov. 28 at the health center, 1025 West Main St. in Park Hills.

Hospice Q&A

Preferred Hospice, 810 Progress Drive in Farmington, will host a Q&A focusing on funeral home directors 6 p.m. Nov. 30.

Gospel Singing

Esther United Methodist Church, 6th and Jefferson in Park Hills, will host a gospel singing featuring Final Authority 6 p.m. Dec. 2. Admission is free, refreshment follows.

Pictures with Santa

Pictures with Santa on Dec. 2 at JCPenney in Farmington from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All proceeds benefit Parkland Foster Adopt. Two packages are available for $10 and $20. The event is sponsored by Venturing Crew #2967 from West County High School.

Trivia Night

A trivia night will be held Dec. 2 at Heritage Hall, 118 East School St. in Bonne Terre. Registration at 6:30 p.m., game begins at 7 p.m. Tables of 10 or less, $10 per person. Proceeds benefit Bonne Terre Food Pantry. For info call 314-795-2503.

Santa Visits

Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit First State Community Bank in Farmington for photos from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 2 at the downtown lobby. For info call 573-705-3319.

Holiday Bazaar

Knob Lick Church of God, on Hwy. DD, will host a holiday Bazaar 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 2. Crafts, bake sale, soup and chili, and a huge indoor rummage sale.

Newcomers Club

Farmington Newcomers Club will host a cookie exchange 9 a.m. Dec 7 at Farmington Presbyterian Church, 403 W. Columbia. Bring 3 to 4 dozen cookies to exchange. For info call 573-747-6387.

Country Christmas

A Country Christmas will be celebrated 1-3 p.m. Dec. 9 at Libertyville Christian Church, Libertyville United Methodist Church and the Old Church Building in Libertyville. Histories and missions will be discussed at each location and Santa will be in attendance.

An Evening With Santa

The River Community Center, 300 West Main St. in Park Hills, will host an Evening With Santa 4-7 p.m. Dec. 10. Visit with Santa, pet live reindeer, listen to stories in Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, fresh baked cookies. Everyone welcome.


Diabetic Education Classes

Parkland Health Mart hosts diabetic education classes 1 p.m. on the 1st Thursday of each month at Midwest Health Group in Farmington; 1 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at Iron County Hospital; and 10 a.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month in the boardroom at Madison County Medical Urgent Care. For Info For info email

Grief Support And Loss Group

New Beginnings will host a grief and loss support group 10-11:30 every Wednesday in the conference room at Belgrade State Bank, 414 N. State St. in Desloge.

Adult Coloring Night

Bonne Terre Memorial Library will host an adult coloring night 5-6 p.m. every Wednesday.

Grief Support Groups

Preferred Hospice hosts grief supports groups on the following schedule: 5:30 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of each month at Farmington Senior Center; 9 a.m. the 3rd Thursday of each month at Desloge VFW; 5:30 p.m. the 3rd Thursday of each month at Fredericktown Public Library; 11 a.m. the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Washington County Library; and 5:30 p.m. the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Iron County Hospital.

Diabetes Self-Management Classes

Parkland Health Center hosts a diabetes self-management class 1-3 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Farmington Public Library. The class is free of charge and open to all ages. Reservations are not required. For info visit or call 573-760-8396.

Irondale Lodge Meets

Irondale Lodge #143 will meet every 1st and 3rd Saturday each month at 7 p.m., meal both days at 6:30 p.m. All Master Masons are welcome.

Samaritan Lodge Meets

Samaritan Lodge 424 AF&AM in Bonne Terre, meets the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m., Dinner meeting 3RD Thursday only, meal at 6:30 p.m. and meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons welcome.

Movie Night

Bonne Terre Memorial Library will host movie night 6-8 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month. For info call 573-358-2260.

Elvins Ionic Lodge Meets

Elvins Ionic Lodge 154 AF&AM in Desloge meets the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. Meal, both days at 6:30 p.m. and meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons welcome.

National Guard Coffee Break

Former members of the Farmington and Fredericktown National Guard units meet 8 a.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at The Dixie Café, 131 N. Front St. in Park Hills (Old Elvins). All retirees and former members are welcome.

American Legion Bonne Terre Meets

American Legion Post 83 in Bonne Terre meets 5:30 p.m. the 1st Friday of every month.

Desloge Alumni Meet

Former Desloge High School students, employees and faculty meet 1 p.m. the 2nd Friday of each month at Homestead Restaurant in Bonne Terre. Bring a photo and memories to share. For info call 431-5173.

DAR Meets

The Sarah Barton Murphy chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution meet 9a.m. every Saturday at the American Legion Post, 1604 W. Columbia in Farmington.


The Desloge Public Library will host storytime 10:30-11 a.m. on the first Friday of each month. The program is for children ages birth through 5 years and their parents or caregivers.

TOPS Meets

TOPS of Farmington meets every Monday except holidays at the Nazarene Church, 501 N. Middle Street in Farmington. Weigh in at 5 p.m., meeting starts at 5:45 p.m.

Leadwood Lodge Meets

Leadwood Lodge #598 meets the 2nd Saturday of each month. Meat at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons are welcome.