For 54 years, the McDonald’s located on 3507 Franklin St. in Michigan City has been dedicated to serving its community. On July 31, the newly remodeled facility re-opened its doors to its loyal customers, inviting them to take part in the grand opening that included a flag raising ceremony and ribbon cutting.
The renovations, which first began in March, included creating a larger parking lot, a double drive through lane and a new indoor playland. The new building is energy efficient, and leaves a much smaller carbon footprint than before. It has the latest and greatest of everything, including LED lights, a new playland, sparkle tables, photo booths, slides, a video game projector, a music machine and all traditional toys for the kiddos.
“This building, which was first built in 1961, has been remodeled about 15 times. This facility is more high tech than any other ones out there - the new kitchen set up is much more efficient and the playplace is smaller, but is much more high tech with active climbing equipment," Glenn Lubeznik, co-owner said. “Bringing that hometown feeling into the store is what we wanted to do. We wanted to create a facility that is initially inviting, very comfortable and more contemporary.”
Omegia Howard, a devoted customer, meets her sister at McDonald’s every morning for breakfast.
“I love the new facility. It just looks so new, clean and inviting. Every experience here has been a very positive one,” Howard said.
While the new additions were in operation, the old restaurant was still open to the public. Howard was not the only one that continued to eat at McDonald’s during the construction.
“The construction process was amazing, and we had a great team. Eighty percent of our customers kept coming, even though it was noisy, dusty and loud. We did our best to give everybody the best service that they know and love about McDonald’s,” co-owner Sam Lubeznik, son of Glenn, said.
Although the new building is high tech and modernized, it still has that warm, inviting and comforting feel to it.
“We tried to keep the restaurant’s history by keeping a very large picture of our old building in our new one. From outside, we want this to be the McDonald’s that everybody knows and loves. It is Michigan City’s McDonald’s as much as it belongs to my family,” Sam Lubeznik said. “Although there are new bones, the soul of the old building is still here in a new life.”
This location is a very special place for him and his family - it was their first McDonald’s that they started 54 years ago.
“Without the community, this place couldn’t exist, and without them, it wouldn’t exist much longer. Over the years, we have been able to partner with so many events and different organization through this McDonald’s location. We are trying to have a new beginning, but keep the same culture of the old one,” Sam Lubeznik said.
Sam Lubeznik is continuing to do so by donating $1 for every Big Mac or Big Mac meal sold from August 3 - 9 to the Michigan City YMCA.
“We want the new YMCA to be incredibly successful, and we think it is a great organization with a great team. We love the opportunity to make a difference - sometimes helping can make the difference of a child going down a right path or a wrong path,” Sam Lubeznik said.
McDonald’s has a weekend filled with fun family events.
In honor of McDonald’s’ 54th year, they will honor 54 children with 54 bikes at a Build a Bike Event tomorrow morning from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
“We are continuing to do what we always have done, which is support a tremendous amount of charities within the city and county, school systems and other organizations. We want to do something that can make someone else’s life better,” Glenn Lubeznik said.
Head out to McDonald’s to take part in all of their weekend festivities!
Photos by Carly Kwiecien and Bailey Roberts