The rebuilt and modernized Hillsboro McDonald’s location reopened for business on Tuesday after more than a three-month hiatus when the old building, which had stood on North High Street for half a century, was razed and a new building sporting an updated, contemporary architectural design and interior was built in its place, according to owner Leigh Chamness.
This will be followed by a formal grand re-opening event on Friday. The celebration will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a reception.
Chamness, CEO of the Ison Family Restaurant organization, which owns a bevy of restaurants in the area, spoke proudly of the collaborative work that has gone into preparing the new location, which is newly equipped with many modern technologies.
One significant change is the overall look of the interior with which decades of local visitors are likely familiar. Gone are the dark red and brown hues that typified older McDonald’s restaurants. They have been replaced with breezy pale greens and other neutrals. Chamness said the appearance of the building was not merely a corporate decision. The staff, prior to the remodeling, was able to decide from “several decor packages, according to Chamness, who said that the style that they selected is uniquely not like others in the area. It has a distinctive appearance rather than being a cookie-cutter stylistic duplicate of other area restaurants.
Chamness also said that many of the former Hillsboro McDonald’s employees will be returning, though some have moved to other restaurants, and some are new. She also said that they are hiring online for needed new employees.
The new McDonald’s is a blend of old and new, with some familiar amenities including as the iconic Playplace returning, albeit in an updated iteration, “that was custom designed for this space,” Chamness said. She added that they recognized how the restaurant is part of the community, and noted that a special seating area has been built for “some of the regulars with a proclivity for stopping by for coffee early in the morning and staying.”
Another unique seating arrangement invites large groups to mingle, with its circular benches and high open enclosures. Chamness said this geometric design is “great for families” who need to congregate in a private, yet suitable for anyone desiring the sense of a private oasis amid the cacophony of a busy restaurant.
Perhaps the most obvious sign that this isn’t your father’s McDonald’s is the inevitable presence of technological ordering aids intermingled with the traditional modalities. Upon entrance into the new building, visitors are confronted by several convenient kiosks, whereby the customer can order and pay, then retrieve their order from a new pickup window, thus circumventing the in-person order taking process.
Chamness said that dining-in customers can also order in app, seat themselves, advise their location and their order will be brought to them at their table. Customers can also still order the traditional way, or through the drive-through, which has additionally been updated for greater efficiency.
Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.