May 09--The McDonald's restaurant on East Dixon Boulevard near Shelby High School grows closer to reopening several months after a sinkhole in the drive-thru lane shut it down.
The 206 E. Dixon Blvd. location was forced to close toward the beginning of the year to deal with a sinkhole caused by the collapse of a sewage drain from the 1950s. The area affected was an 8-foot-wide by 8-foot-deep area in the parking lot.
Shawn Kuthan, whose family operates the McDonald's franchises in Shelby, said the tentative reopening date is May 29.
"We deal with things all the time. This is just another thing that we've dealt with, and I think we've done a pretty good job with it," he said.
Construction crews have installed new drainage pipes behind the restaurant and filled the old pipes with concrete to prevent issues with the drains in the future. New pipes are continuing to be placed under the property to bypass the old system.
When the drainage installation is complete, Kuthan said, asphalt will be redone and the restaurant's drive-thru signs will go back up. The restaurant will then have to take steps to get power and phone lines back up before opening.
Kuthan originally hoped to reopen the restaurant by late March or early April, but construction was delayed due to unforeseen construction and inclement weather. Crews had to build a new concrete manhole on the property after seeing the original was in poor shape, and rain delayed the process even further.
"They could get to a certain point where they were making progress, and the rain would set them back a few days," he said.
Most of the McDonald's employees at the closed store have been transferred to the family's Cleveland Mall location and their two restaurants in Kings Mountain during construction.
Closing the East Dixon Boulevard store for several months has led to revenue loss, but some of the business has been recouped by the Cleveland Mall franchise, he said.
"That store has increased 30 or 40 percent in business. That has definitely helped ease the pain," Kuthan said.
A grand reopening celebration with specials will be set when the East Dixon Boulevard restaurant is up and running again. Kuthan said that will likely come around July when staffers have adjusted to the opening.
Casey White can be reached at 704-669-3339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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