Seaford McDonald’s getting new look

Debris is removed from the site of the Seaford McDonald’s restaurant, which was demolished in early February. A new modern facility will be built at that U.S. 13 and Norman Eskridge Highway location. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

SEAFORD — The famous Golden Arches still stand but the building is long gone.

A recognizable landmark that stood along Seaford’s highway commercial district on U.S. 13 for nearly four decades was razed the week after this year’s Super Bowl.

In its place will be a new, state-of-the-art McDonald’s restaurant that will have an extra-special look.

Following debris removal, the hope is the complete build will be completed sometime in late spring.

“We would love to be able to hit the end of May,” said Seaford McDonald’s owner Mike Meoli, whose Meoli Companies owns 18 McDonald’s – nine each in Delaware and Maryland. “So, I would say very late May or the first week of June is where we are looking reopen. It can’t be fast enough from my perspective.”

Everything on site will be completely cleared, including the drive -thru lane. “The only thing that is going to stay is that sign. It will stay right where it is,” said Mr. Meoli.

The new restaurant will accentuate McDonald’s Experience of the Future redesign, featuring modernization and upgrades that have been incorporated at Mr. Meoli’s other restaurants, including Bridgeville and Georgetown.

“We’ll have kiosks. We’ll have the table service. We’ll bring your order out to you,” said Mr. Meoli. “And obviously, all state-of-art new equipment, and side-by-side drive thru.”

And it will feature a special look: McDonald’s “Blade and Ribbon” exterior concept.

“It has differentiating architectural characteristics that are much different than most McDonald’s,” said Mr. Meoli. “It’s a little more expensive, but it’s such an important site. That is the gateway into Seaford. It’s a very high-traffic, high-volume restaurant. I want to go the extra step to make sure we develop that site as responsibly as we should.”

The Golden Arches in Seaford invite patrons to visit the McDonald’s in Bridgeville during construction of a new restaurant at the Seaford site. (Delaware State News/Glenn Rolfe)

“We’re going to bring a beautiful building to much of that corner,” Mr. Meoli said. “The site layout will be completely redone, incorporating the additional property that was behind it and along the north side of the building into one seamless parcel.”

The Seaford McDonald’s was constructed in 1980. Mr. Meoli purchased it in December of 2014.

Last October, Mr. Meoli’s McDonald’s on U.S. 113 in Georgetown celebrated its grand reopening following a modernized makeover.

Upgrades are part of McDonald’s global efforts to modernize.

“Most of the stores are going through that type of remodel like I did in Bridgeville where we gave the outside that new modernized look and we redid the lobby and restrooms. Some stores already have the modernized look but need a new lobby, like Georgetown,” said Mr. Meoli. “And there are a very small percentage of stores that, like Seaford, are just old, and you just need to start over.”

The last Big Macs and Egg McMuffins at the Seaford restaurant were sold Feb. 3.

In the absence of the restaurant at Sussex Highway and Norman Eskridge Highway, customers are encouraged to patronize Mr. Meoli’s Bridgeville McDonald’s, which previously underwent an upgrade.

Customers who frequented the Seaford restaurant may see many familiar faces at Bridgeville and Mr. Meoli’s other McDonald’s.

“We have offered every single employee that is there the opportunity to go to any of the other restaurants. And most of them have done that. There are a few (employees) that wanted to take a long vacation, and plan to come back. Almost all of them are going to our other stores. Bridgeville has a number of them,” said Mr. Meoli.

Transportation is even offered to Seaford employees unable to travel to other restaurants.

“Most of them can get there themselves. If they can’t, we will meet them, and we are providing transportation,” said Mr. Meoli. “We’re accommodating their schedules. We have told them we want to give them the hours they have been used to getting. And we need them, quite frankly. We’re going to open up in June, at the height of our busy season, so we want our folks to come back.”

Because there will be a “few nuances” in the new kitchen with modernized equipment, Seaford employees will undergo training in other stores, Mr. Meoli said. Training is scheduled for May.

A grand opening ceremony will be held, probably a couple weeks after the new Seaford restaurant opens, Mr. Meoli said.

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