Can I take your order?

New Stillwater McDonald’s opens Thursday morning

Ronald McDonald and Washington County Historical Society Executive Director Brent Peterson both give thumbs up Tuesday to a mural in the new Stillwater McDonald’s restaurant showing a photo of the Stillwater Lift Bridge and St. Croix River. Murals on several restaurant walls show historic Stillwater scenes and were copied from photos in the WCHS archives. The new restaurant opens at 5 a.m. Thursday.

For about 40 years, the Stillwater area had one McDonald’s restaurant off Minnesota Highway 36 in Oak Park Heights. By early next year, the number of McDonald’s in the area will double to two.

After about three weeks without Big Macs and Egg McMuffin sandwiches, the new Stillwater McDonald’s on Stillwater Boulevard opens at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Meanwhile, construction is set to begin on a larger McDonald’s in Oak Park Heights and is expected to be finished in late January.

But attention was on the new Stillwater McDonald’s during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Area dignitaries crowded into the restaurant while employees filled food and drink orders and handed out cake.

“Stillwater was due (for a McDonald’s)” said Tom Duval.

Jim Duval and his sons operate several St. Croix Valley-area McDonald’s in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Tom Duval said his family is confident the new Stillwater facility will be a success.

“We hope so,” he said.

Once open Thursday morning, the Stillwater McDonald’s will be open 24 hours, said Tom Duval.

As part of the restaurant’s grand opening, Jim Duval said 25 cents from every breakfast and lunch Value Meal sold will be donated to Valley Outreach. The restaurant will also collect non-perishable food for the Valley Outreach food shelf.

Prior to Ronald McDonald cutting the ribbon to open the restaurant, Jim Duval presented a $1,000 check to Valley Outreach Executive Director Christine Tubbs and another check to Washington County Historical Society Executive Director Brent Peterson.

One feature inside the restaurant that gives it a distinct local feel are photo murals on the walls of historic Stillwater scenes taken from photos in the local Historical Society’s archives.

“The photos are from our collection,” Peterson said. “Jim and Sue Duval came down and looked through quite a few of them. They picked some really good ones.”

Looking at the murals, Peterson said the photos make the new McDonald’s feel like it’s been in the city for awhile.

“It captures the essence of Stillwater. This makes it ours,” he said.

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FYI

What: Stillwater McDonald’s

Where: Stillwater Boulevard at West Orleans Street

Opens: 5 a.m. Thursday. The restaurant is open 24 hours.

Details: The Stillwater McDonald’s features murals of historic photos copied from photos in the Washington County Historical Society archives. The Oak Park Heights McDonald’s, torn down about three weeks ago, is being rebuilt and is scheduled to re-open in late January or early February.

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