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INDEPENDENCE – Area residents driving near the junction of U.S. Highway 20 and Highway 150 have been watching the progress involving a number of construction projects since summer began. This week, the McDonald’s project will be completed.

Customers will be welcome to experience the store and its offerings starting at 7 a.m. on Thursday, November 7. Store Manager Deb Williams has worked hard to ensure the store’s readiness and shared how excited she is to welcome her customers back after a short transition process.

“Our customers are a bright spot in my day, and I’ve missed them as we’ve moved between our old location and this new one. I can’t wait for them to come back and see this wonderful store!” she said.

The new location, which seats approximately 80 customers, will feature the same business hours as the old locations – 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.

Grand opening festivities included a VIP sneak peek Monday evening, November 4. In addition to a ribbon cutting with members of the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, a flag raising was held outside under the leadership of VIW Post 2440. Guests were treated to a free meal, a tour of the facility, and a plastic travel mug.

Other events this week include a special breakfast for teachers and high school seniors, lunch for city officials and first responders, and McFamily night celebrating Soifer Family McDonald’s crew on Wednesday.

The first 50 people in line on Thursday morning at 7 a.m. will receive free Big Macs for a year; the first 250 through the drive thru on Friday will receive a special reusable discount key tag. Saturday kicks off with free McCafé for a year for the first 50 customers at 5 a.m.

Soifer Family McDonald’s Owner/Operator Scott Soifer said, “I am very excited about our new location. Not only will the new location be more convenient for many of our customers, it will allow us to serve travelers as well customers from surrounding communities who come to Independence for groceries and shopping. In addition, I’m very excited about how efficient the new building will be, both for the environment and for our employees.”

He added that they have about 60 employees – many of whom, especially among the managers, who have been with them for decades.

There will be a variety of innovative additions in the new restaurant, some visible like kiosks, digital menu boards, table service, and a new two-lane, three-window drive thru. Other features will be less visible to customers, like a reverse assembly kitchen, an advanced beverage and dessert assembly area, and other new technology to help employees be more efficient in serving guests.

After more than 20 years of serving customers, the old McDonald’s building, located at 1811 1st Street W, will be emptied and listed for sale by McDonald’s Corporation.

“Locally, we will not have any involvement in this process, but we hope that the building can find a new purpose as many former McDonald’s have around the U.S.,” said Soifer.

After the waiting, loyalty, and support, Marketing Manager Emily Garden has one thing to say to customers, “Thank you. We appreciate your support, your love for our crew, and the memories you’ve made with us. We hope you’re as ready as we are to create new ones at 2339 Jamestown Avenue.”

Soifer Family McDonald’s restaurants are owned and operated by Scott and Lisa Soifer. Scott is the second generation in his family to operate McDonald’s restaurants; he began working at a young age cleaning tables and mowing the lawn. Scott continued learning each position, eventually becoming a restaurant manager, as he completed his degree at the University of Northern Iowa.

Today, Soifer Family McDonald’s includes a large and growing family of nearly 600 dedicated and hardworking crew, managers, and support staff operating 12 restaurants in Northeast Iowa. Reaching into the Charles City, Cedar Falls, Waverly, Independence, Oelwein, Iowa Falls, Hampton, Vinton, New Hampton, and Center Point communities, Scott and his McFamily work daily to continue the mission his parents started – to help crew grow, give back, and deliver an enjoyable dining experience for guests.