McDonald's owner David Cravens stood among a throng of customers, friends, relatives and employees inside the rebuilt Thomson restaurant Thursday. He hadn't slept in 24 hours, had drunk lots of coffee and was "wired" by the excitement of it all.
Originally built in 1974, the restaurant was razed Jan. 3 and resurrected in 70 days.
"Everything's new," Cravens said. He and his wife, Janie, own five other McDonald's in the area. Their daughter Jennifer Partridge, who started toasting buns at age 8, and son-in-law James Partridge, own two.
The restaurant had its length extended 41 feet; a double drive-thru was added; the children's play area was enclosed; and the parking lot was repaved. In addition to the famous Golden Arches sign, the exterior was built with open face block and stone.
The interior includes nonslip floor tile and hanging lights selected by Janie Cravens.
The Cravenses chose Venture Construction as the contractor from four bids. The Atlanta construction company had built two of the couple's other restaurants.
A McDonald's is typically built in 90 days, but the owners hired a second superintendent to expedite completion.
"We wanted to be open in time for Masters," said David Cravens, whose career with McDonald's began as a manager trainee in 1974. Janie Cravens said they've formed relationships with Masters patrons since purchasing the restaurant in 2001.
The restaurant will employ 84, up from 57. David Cravens said they plan to employ 95. During construction, employees were given the option of working at one of the other restaurants or taking a vacation.
McDonald's, located on Washington Road near Interstate 20, is open from 5 a.m. to midnight during the week and from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. David Cravens said the restaurant was open 24 hours a day for 11/2 years.
"We'll see how it works," he said of the current schedule.
Curtis Smith of Mesena, who was dining with his wife, Caroline, and mother-in-law, Cleo Purvis, said he eats breakfast at McDonald's with 12 to 14 retired men six mornings a week.
"They've been good to us," Smith said, pointing to the flat screen TV mounted on the wall. "I like It. It (the restaurant) is large enough."