Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

June 6, 2013

Slideshow, Video: McDemolition

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — The McDonald's in Knoxville is being torn down this morning. 

As we've reported, McDonald's Owner Cara VanSteenis is having this building torn down to pave the way for a new and improved building. The new building should be open and ready for service in September. 

“It just makes more sense to start over,” Owner Cara Van Steenis said. The existing building went up in 1982. The new one will have the latest technology, equipment, color/design scheme and set-up of the modern day version of the eatery. 

Van Steenis said the new lobby will seat 91 customers. Its design is intended to help accommodate the restaurant's regulars who like to gather for coffee in groups. Unlike the existing building, the entire lobby will be in one area, with no split beside the counter and kitchen area. 

“We want to keep every single person happy,” Van Steenis said. 

As for McDonald's employees, they will be given the option to work in the Pella or Oskaloosa restaurants over the summer. Van Steenis owns these restaurants, as well as a McDonald's in Centerville. She is helping to form carpools to take employees to these locations. When the new Knoxville restaurant opens, if all current employees choose to stay with the company, another 40 positions will also be filled. 

Other features in the new McDonald's will include more outlets for laptop computer users who want to utilize the restaurant's wi-fi service, two drive-through lanes and a better parking lot. She is not concerned about customers, changing their habits over the summer. They will come back, she believes.

“I think when we reopen, it will be really exciting for the town,” Van Steenis said.