WALLA WALLA — When it comes to a new transition at the Eastgate McDonald’s, there’s no clowning around.
A week ago the long-standing fast food chain at 2130 Isaacs Ave. was shuttered, and demolition of the building began. Owners are rebuilding another McDonald’s with a very new flavor — one that reports say will offer a more modern version that will still serve customers fast but will encourage them to linger longer.
The new 4,264-square-foot building will bring the chain’s freshest design to Walla Walla, said Lee Adams, president of Adams Enterprises Inc., which owns the Walla Walla franchises.
“You will be looking at the most technologically advanced and energy efficient restaurant that McDonald’s could put together,” Adams said.
The current building was 40 years old, Adams said. According to documents filed with the Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency, the new 88-seat restaurant has an estimated construction value of $523,064.
Contractor WaynCo Construction Inc. is in charge of construction. The company has transitioned other McDonald’s restaurants across the region.
Adams, who has owned the eatery for about 30 years, said the work continues investment in Eastgate in recent years — from improvements on Isaacs Avenue to the recently opened Cascade Farm & Outdoor store.
“We are so excited to be a part of reinvigorating that end of town,” he said. “We’re just glad and happy and feel privileged to be a part of that.”
The new look started to make headlines in 2011, when it drew comparisons to Starbucks. The changing look is both meant to evolve with the times and bring a new image to the chain that draws consumers from its competitors.
“McDonald’s — which for years has emphasized serving customers quickly then getting them out the door — will continue expanding its food and beverage menu, with plans to add even more upscale munchies,” a USA Today piece said in 2011. “The chain no longer wants to rush you in and out. Now it wants you to stick around and tap into free Wi-Fi service as you sip a cappuccino or smoothie while having a Snack Wrap.”
Among the changes: a re-imagined roof; muted paint tones to replace the bold colors; wood tables and chairs along with, in some cases, vinyl-covered chairs resembling leather; contemporary lighting; expanded restrooms; and divided dining areas to distinguish larger groups from those on the go who want to lounge longer.
Adams said the site designs have appeal for all ages.
“It’s a great way to reinvest in that community,” he said.