Signal Hill McDonald's set to reopen next week
McDonald's owners Mike and Melissa Neader were joined by Mike's mother, Alice, as they addressed a crowd of special guests on Saturday afternoon at the new Signal Hill McDonald's.
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The third reincarnation of the Signal Hill Drive location of McDonald’s is scheduled to open early next week.
On Saturday afternoon owners Mike and Melissa Neader welcomed hundreds to a VIP celebration to check out the new restaurant.
The Neaders hope to get a certificate of occupancy for the new $2.5 million restaurant on Monday and will then announce the official re-opening through local media outlets and social media.
The original restaurant was built on the site in 1975 by Mike’s parents, Jim and Alice Neader, followed by a rebuild in 2000.
To honor the location’s rich history, Melissa wore Alice’s uniform vest and belt from the original store and Mike donned his father’s jacket and tie for this occasion.
“Every time it changes,” said Melissa, pointing to decades of photos, articles, and documents on a nearby table. “This event has given us the opportunity to recreate all the precious memories from the beginning when Mike’s mom and dad started the business.”
The Neaders chose the McDonald’s “letter” design package for the store because they believes it fits the area well.
“It gives the feel of fun,”said Melissa, pointing out a variety of seating arrangements, including cozy booths, large community tables, and a coffee club area that patrons can enjoy.
Four partition panels feature elaborate letter graphic designs (S, C, B, and F) for sundae, coffee, burgers, and fries.
Melissa pointed out some innovations of the new store, including two handicap-accessible interactive screen tables to entertain kids. Two sparkle tables also seem to help children with autism stay calm so they can sit with their family and enjoy a meal. The store also offers wifi service.
The store also has six kiosks for customers’ convenience as well as traditional ordering from employees at the counter register. The state-of-the-art kitchen, hidden from customer view, features cutting-edge technology like a high-speed conveyor belt to move food quickly from preparation to serving areas, according to McDonald’s area supervisor Bill Shelton.
This conveyor belt limits employees having to walk up and down the line to deliver product to servers and reduces kitchen congestion. No other store in this area has this “kitchen of the future” setup, so as other stores upgrade their stores, employees can come to the Signal Hill location to train, added Shelton.
A new beverage preparation section next to the drive-thru allows staff to quickly create the wide variety of coffees, shakes, McFlurries, smoothies, and other beverages that the store offers. Staff can easily service the dining room beverage station from behind the dispensers to avoid disturbing customers who are getting their drinks.
After VIP guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and entertainment by local singer Karla Kincaid, the Neaders welcomed the crowd, many of whom were at the original opening in 1975, to this special occasion.
Calling up his mother Alice to join him, Mike noted the emotional moment of putting on his late father’s jacket and tie for this event.
“I was thinking of my dad, the legacy he created, the opportunity that he gave me and my family,” Mike said, noting the presence of his children, the third generation to work in the business. “I’m sure he’s looking down on us and loves what he sees.”
Alice thanked the community for its decades of support, saying, “We love Statesville, and I thank the community for being so good to us.”
Special guests were recognized, including Vic McIntyre, a WWII veteran who is a twice-a-day customer; Laura Byers, Miss Statesville 1951; Kaitlyn Sparks, the current Miss Statesville; School Board member Chuck Gallyon, who once worked for Jim as an assistant manager; Interim Statesville Police Chief David Onley; and Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell.
U.S Rep. Ted Budd and N.C. Rep. Rena Turner also stopped by to congratulate the Neaders on their new store.