by LUKE WIENEKE
DULUTH, Minn.-Despite the long hours of noisy construction during most of the summer and fall, the new McDonalds on 21st Avenue East and London Road and the residential neighbors around it as well as employees, are happy that it is back in business.
McDonalds has been in that location for over 20 years now, according to employee John St. Lawerence, who's worked there for 4 years. He said that before the renovation, the food preparation was slow and tedious, as well as confusing for many new workers.
"We had a lot of issues with workers crossing over each other, and it created much havoc back where the burgers are cooked," St. Lawerence said. "This new setup we have here is very efficient and spacious, and we don't have to worry about workers getting in the way of other employees work."
St. Lawerence also said that business has jumped since the renovations occurred, as the eating areas have all been updated, with more comfortable seating.
"The renovations have been nice to us because it beckons people to sit and stay for a while," St. Lawerence said. "We have noticed many more people enjoying their morning coffee and newspaper here, and small groups coming to use our facility as a casual meeting place."
But although the renovations have been great for the McDonalds business itself, its construction wasn't greatly appreciated at first.
Brett Kubly, a resident on Jefferson Street just above McDonalds, was concerned with the amount of noise coming from the construction site, and the late hours that they were putting in each night.
"I understand that it needed to get done, but because I worked at 6 a.m. every day this summer, it got really tough to get rest with construction still going on at 9 at night," Kubly said.
Kubly, currently a senior at University of Minnesota Duluth, is happy with the renovations that they made. He was glad that the construction went smoothly for the crew and that it was done a couple weeks earlier than expected.
Jake Whiting, a senior at St. Scholastica who lives at 2126 Jefferson St. said that he was just happy it was back open for business, and even though the construction was loud some nights this summer, it wasn't too big of a deal for him.
"I am more of a night person, so the noise didn't bother me too much at night," Whiting said. "My only concern was that it got done quickly, because it usually woke me up in the early morning."
Overall, Kubly and Whiting were both satisfied with the time it took, and the turnout of the renovations.
"They did a really nice job with the setup and renovations here in the restaurant. I could see myself coming here more often now," Kubly said.
The renovated McDonalds opened on Oct. 22, and people are welcome inside the restaurant during their hours, which are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.