By Andrew Shortall
9:09 PM PST, November 15, 2012
A familiar face's makeover was revealed Thursday when the newly redesigned McDonald's at 3141 Harbor Blvd. held its ribbon-cutting and grand-opening ceremony after being shut down for four months.
The ceremonyofficially wrapped up a remodeling process that began when the building was torn down in July, rebuilt from the ground up, and reopened on Oct. 25.
"It's warm, bright and inviting — that's kind of the idea," said Terry Solon, the owner and operator of this restaurant and three other McDonald's restaurants through his business, Solon Management. "It's a little more contemporary, kind of evolving."
It's all part of a reimaging process McDonald's restaurants across the nation are going through, with approximately 200 restaurants being built or remodeled with the new look, which sports a modern design inside and out.
Costa Mesa Assistant Chief-Executive Officer Rick Francis said having another business lining a bustling Harbor Boulevard is good for the city.
"We are pretty proud being able to grow in this economy when a lot of places are shutting down," said Francis. "In this portion of town we're thriving and we're happy about that."
It's a McDonald's that certainly looks a lot different to the one Francis worked in when he took his first job with the company when he was 16 years old.
"I was going to work for a summer and it turned into an eight-year love affair with the golden arches," Francis said. "I rose into management and all that. It's in my blood, it put me through college."
Customers will notice the complete redesign at the local restaurant, which sported a racing-car theme after its last remodel in the early 1990s. It's a fresh, soothing design from the inside out, with new seating options that include community tables, lounge-style seats and new booths, along with digital menus and fewer advertisements in the store.
"It's very clean feeling, that's what I like," said Joan Solon, Terry's wife.
The look isn't the only thing that's new. There's a new dual-point service system with customers placing an order at one station and picking it up at a designated pick-up station on the left, with a monitor notifying customers when their orders are ready. There's also a two-lane drive-through for patrons on the go.
Muoi Huynh, the restaurant manager, has worked at the location for more than 21 years. She's thrilled with the changes and so are the customers, she says.
"They love it, absolutely, they're really happy and really like it," she said. "One thing that makes me really happy is all my customers have come back after we were closed for four months."