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.
Farmington American Legion Post 416 meets 7 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at the Farmington VFW on Karsch Blvd.
Music and dance is held 6-8:30 p.m. every Monday at Farmington Senior Center.
First Free Will Baptist Church, 300 Emerson in Park Hills, host a Celebrate Recovery in St. Francois County event each Saturday night, dinner at 6 p.m. and meeting at 7 p.m.
Farmington VFW Post 5896 meets the 1st Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.
Sayer Center, 109 Lawrence St. in Potosi, hosts a dance 6:30-9:30 p.m. each Saturday night featuring local country music artists and groups. Admission is $6, this is a smoke free and alcohol free event.
Overeaters Anonymous will meet Mondays, 11 a.m., at the Farmington Public Library, 101 N A Street. For info call 573-431-6798 or 573-756-7022.
Desloge Public Library host early literacy story time 10-10:45 a.m. every Tuesday through May 8. Program is designed for 2-5 year olds, must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
Bonne Terre Eagles Aerie #4210 will host Bingo each Tuesday and Friday evening. Doors open at 4 p.m. and speedball starts at 6 p.m.
Bonne Terre Eagles Auxiliary #4210 will host Bingo each Sunday. Doors open at 11 a.m. and speedball starts at 1 p.m.
The women's shooting club meets 6-7 p.m. the 2nd Monday of each month at Ozark Thunder Indoor Gun Range, 5157 Flat River Rd, in Farmington. Women over age 21 are welcome. For info call 573-518-0500.
The Perry County Dems./East Central Coalition for Change meet 6 p.m. the 3rd Monday of each month in the Missouri Extension Meeting Room at the Perry Co. Administration Bldg., 321 North Main in Perryville, Downstairs. For info call or text 573-513-6448.
Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge 2583 in Desloge will host Bingo each Monday afternoon. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., speedball starts at 6 p.m.
Farmington VFW Post 5896 will hold a Fish Fry (with a weekly special) 5-7 p.m. Fridays (except on Fridays that fall during a holiday week). Call 573-756-8852.
Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy hosts diabetic education classes 1 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month at Midwest Health Group, 555 W. Pine St. in Farmington. For Info For info email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Bonne Terre Memorial Library will host an adult coloring night 5-6 p.m. every Wednesday.
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 parklandhealthcenter.org or call 573-760-8396.
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 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.
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.
American Legion Post 83 in Bonne Terre meets 5:30 p.m. the 1st Friday of every month.
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 of Farmington meets every Monday except holidays at the Nazarene Church, 501 N. Middle Street in Farmington. Weigh in at 4:30 p.m., meeting starts at 5 p.m.
Leadwood Lodge #598 meets the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month August through May, meal at 6:30 p.m., meeting at 7:30 p.m. All Master Masons are welcome.
Parkland Health Center offers a childbirth class from 5-7 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of each month. The class is free of charge and open to any expectant parents. To register, please visit Parklandhealthcenter.org, then click “classes and events.”
Parkland Health Center offers a breastfeeding class from 5-7 p.m. the 1st Thursday of each month. The class is free of charge and open to any new or expectant mothers. To register, please visit Parklandhealthcenter.org, then click “classes and events.”
Leadington VFW Post hosts Bingo every Wednesday, doors open at 3 p.m. and Bingo starts at 6 p.m.
The Mineral Area Woodcarvers meet 5:30-7 p.m. each Thursday at the Farmington Senior Center. All skill levels are welcome.
The Farmington VFW hosts a breakfast 7-9:30 a.m. each Wednesday. Open to the public.
The Sarah Barton Murphy chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution meet 9 a.m. on the 1ST Saturday of each month, Sept. through May, at the American Legion Post, 1604 W. Columbia in Farmington.
The meetings are held on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene in Farmington. Park in the rear of the building and enter through the glass door.
The Bonne Terre Knights of Columbus Council #1088 holds its monthly chicken and dumpling dinner from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. Please bring a non-perishable food donation for donation to the Bonne Terre Food Pantry.
Open meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are held noon-1 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 Taylor Avenue in Park Hills. For info call 573-482-4120.
St. Francois County Democrats meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Desloge Elks Club. For info visit them on Facebook or call Nikki Asher at 573-330-5903 or Linda Dickerson-Bell at 573-330-2436.