A downtown McDonald's opened its doors to customers Thursday morning for the first time in nearly two years.
Customers lined up before 5 a.m. at the restaurant, located at 1201 Broadway, for grand opening food and festivities.
The popular fast-food spot was in operation for 30 years when a fire in a heating and air conditioning unit shut it down in December 2011. The damage was extensive.
Repairs were initially expected to take four weeks, but the city and the McDonald's Corporation were unable to agree on a building design.
A compromise was finally reached earlier this year, and construction began in late June.
For three months, dust and debris filled the corner lot as crews knocked down the old structure to one wall and a basement to make way for a new structure built closer to the street.
The exterior features the modern “arcade-style” design common among McDonald's restaurants across the country.
The interior has more gathering spaces to seat 80 people at table and bar tops. Customers can also enjoy flat screen televisions and free Wi-Fi.
“We appreciate the loyalty of our customers who have been eagerly awaiting this re-opening, and we will reward them with freshly prepared, quality food served in an environment that is dynamic, enjoyable and comfortable,” explained McDonald's Owner-Operator Ted Bertuca Jr.
As part of Thursday's grand opening, the first 50 customers were given a ticket for one free Big Mac per week for one year. Raffle tickets were also distributed for several electronic devices including a television and iPad.
McDonald's on Broadway is open 24 hours.
- July 1, 2013: Downtown McDonald's to reopen after 2011 fire
- Dec. 13, 2012: Burned Broadway McDonald's can't rebuild due to new code
- Dec. 10, 2011: Downtown McDonald's catches fire