A restaurant that’s been a landmark for residents and people passing through Carthage for 38 years will be torn down later this month, to be replaced about 90 days later with a new version of its old self.
Joe and Patty Coss, owners of the McDonald’s restaurants on Central Avenue and at Fir Road and Hazel Street in Carthage, said the Central Avenue restaurant will be torn down sometime toward the end of February.
In its place will be built a new McDonald’s, similar to one recently remodeled in Webb City, featuring two drive-through lanes and a more modern look.
Coss said the building was built in 1975 and McDonald’s requires that franchisees update their restaurants after a certain amount of time.
For some newer buildings, this means a complete makeover. The McDonald’s at Madison and McArthur avenues in Webb City was completely rebuilt, but the main part of the building remained opened.
“Some stores that haven’t been up as long do a remodel,” Coss said on Friday when he presented a mural that had been hanging in his restaurant since its last renovation in 2005 to the Jasper County Courthouse.
“This particular store, because it has been up for so long, it has a full basement, McDonald’s is telling us that it’s time for this store to be completely torn down and rebuilt from the ground up,” Coss said. “It will start some time here towards the end of the month and it’s going to take approximately three months, hopefully a little bit less than three months for grand opening again.”
Coss said a contractor has not been chosen yet, but the chain has contractors that specialize in building and rebuilding McDonald’s restaurants.
Coss said while the existing restaurant has the classic McDonald’s look with the wood-style beams and façade, the new store will have a sleeker, more modern look.
“The new look of McDonald’s is geared to a little more of a younger generation and it’s going to have a modern feel to it,” Coss said. “We’ve been trying to keep a little bit of the décor a secret, but it is going to be something of a wow-factor for our customers but I think they’re really going to like it once it gets together.”
Coss said he plans to hold a public auction and sell off some of the old fixtures, tables and other items after shutting down the restaurant for the final time.
He’s also contacted the Carthage Fire Department, Carthage Police Department and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office to give them the chance to use the building for a day or so for training.
Page 2 of 2 - Coss said he’s doing all he can to help the employees of that restaurant stay employed during the three months it will be closed.
“If we were a larger company with more stores, it would be easier,” Coss said. “We’ve slowed down hiring intentionally over the past few months to reduce the number of people here by attrition. We’ve worked out a deal with the franchise in Joplin to take some of our employees that live on the west side of Carthage on transfer for a little while. We’re also taking some people on at our restaurant on the south side of town, so we’re doing our best to help them.”
Coss said the restaurant’s reopening will happen sometime close to Memorial Day, which will mean he’ll have to hire a number of new employees to handle the summer traffic and replace those who were not replaced in the winter.