Tentative 're-grand opening' set for May at the Newberg store on Portland Road

The Newberg McDonald's restaurant on Portland Road partially closed March 12 to undergo modernization and remodeling.

The inside of the building has been gutted to make room for updated furniture, electronic kiosks and a new play area for the children. The reopening date will be in early to mid-May, company officials said last week.GARY ALLEN - McDonalds is getting a new look and undergoing modernization on the inside and out. The store's owners plan on reopening in early to mid-May.

The restaurant was opened in 1985. Mike and Roxanne Kennedy purchased the restaurant in 2001, then five years later an errant spark from a welder on the roof took flame and destroyed much of the building. A plastic statue of Ronald McDonald and the American flag that flew over the restaurant were saved and was on display inside the rebuilt facility for year.

"This is our second rebuild," Mike Kennedy said. "We will have a new lobby (and are) putting in a brand new play place for the kids. It will be bigger, better and bolder than the last one. They don't have the ball pits anymore, the balls have gone away. This will be a bigger (area) with slides and climbing ropes and nets and all that stuff."

The new look will include two double-sided electronic kiosks that can serve four people at a time. The digital menu boards will allow the customer to place an order without having to stand in a line at the register.

"McDonalds has gone to that from the service standpoint," Mike Kennedy said. "The millennials, that customer base is very tech savvy and this is something that they've shown to embrace and love to do.

"We'll have someone out with the customers, teaching them and aiding them for those that aren't comfortable using those right off the bat. We'll do the order for you, walk you through it. They will always have the option to walk right up to the counter as they always did."

The Kennedy's have nine grandkids. "My grandkids (are) from 8 years old to 14 and walk right in and walk right up to it (the kiosks) and do their thing," he added.

The Kennedy family owns six McDonalds in the area. The Sherwood and King City location has been modernized with the same kiosks that Newberg's restaurant will see installed.

With grandchildren at hand, Roxanne Kennedy is in charge of organizing and deciding what to put in the play area.

"It will be a three-story play structure and a bit more interactive than the last one," she said. "We are adding a 42- inch digital play table that has interactive games for kids. There will also be two wall-mounted Kidez interactive play Wi-Fi computers. It will be a play area with technology."

The outside will be changing its look into a modern contemporized style, close to the look that McDonalds in Sherwood has. "Each restaurant has a little bit of option as far as the rock and color of tiles to decide on. McDonalds has done away with the red and yellow that we grew up with and now we go with more earth tones to match the community and surroundings," Mike Kennedy said. The two car drive thrus will remain, but with the added feature of a digitalized menu board, "The entire restaurant is going to be modernized inside and out," added Mike Kennedy. "We will have a grand re-opening, to be announced, with specials and give-a-ways. We'll have cake and a celebration, we want people to come and help us celebrate the new opening." Mike Kennedy said.

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