Thread Number: 71669  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Restaurant remodels/replacements
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 948356   7/15/2017 at 16:42 (342 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
I have noticed a lot of restaurants in our area being remodeled in the last couple years.

Captain D's got a full remodel and expansion a year or so ago. Before that it only got exterior renovations.

Arby's got a full remodel this year.

Pizza Hut got a minor remodel (just new furniture and light fixtures, carpeting, and a refaced buffet and salad bar), before that it still had the original 70s furniture and fixtures and only the bathrooms had been remodeled/expanded.

One McDonald's had been remodeled in 2012, it was built in 1994.

Burger King was replaced in 2012.

Strangely the other McD's was the same age, but it is being torn down completely for a new one. It had never been remodeled since 94.

The other Burger King was built in 2003 or so and got a remodel last year.

Also Outback Steakhouse got an exterior remodel but the interior is about the same as it was since it opened.

Our Wendy's still has not remodeled and has its original carpeting and decor which looks kind of dated even though it opened in 2004.

The Dairy Queens here one is from the 70s and remodeled around 2005, but just the interior seating area and restrooms, and the other was built around 2005 and hasn't had a remodel.

Post# 948359 , Reply# 1   7/15/2017 at 17:07 (342 days old) by superocd (PNW)        

I was on a road trip two years ago to see some relatives in Missouri. Stopped somewhere east of Kansas City for gas when the KFC behind the gas station revealed something shiny and stainless near the exterior walkin unit. Looked like a commercial fridge. Being an appliance and HVAC geek, I had to go see what it was.

Lordy, was a commercial fridge, but not just any commercial was a Koch single split section fridge. Ironic, being that Koch manufactured their fridges in KCKS, so this didn't stray too far from home. Unfortunately it was worse for the wear. It was gouged, dented and the stainless was dull. Some idiot probably used Brillo pads or maybe sandpaper to "clean" it.

Being that Koch disappeared by the late 70s, this KFC had to have been pretty old. Corporate franchises usually don't buy secondhand equipment.

Post# 948360 , Reply# 2   7/15/2017 at 17:31 (342 days old) by superocd (PNW)        
oh, speaking of remodels...

...a little piece of me wants to die when stores, retaurants and hotels/motels remodel. Everything now looks like a Macy's, a Starbucks or a Hilton. I like the old 1980s/1990s look of chain fast food/casual restaurants and hotels. Some of us don't want upscale.

And the God! Maybe I have a love and an automatic bias for anything from yesteryear but all of the new logos are either generic or cartoonish. The Best Western logo resembles something a pharmaceutical company would brand their cough medicine with. I hate the Dairy Queen "DQ" logo, the previous one was an icon (along with the Brazier branding). The Sears logo? Someone was paid millions to fire up MS Word to type "sears" in lowecase Arial, color it blue and call it good. I could go on. It looks like the newer crop of graphics designers were trained on how to use Microsoft Paint.

Post# 948406 , Reply# 3   7/16/2017 at 01:10 (341 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Stores really started remodeling around 2007, and it kicked up around 2010. Starting with one of the local McDonalds locations in 2007, it was originally built in 1967 and rebuilt for it's 40th anniversary. Most of the rest were rebuilt or remodeled after that.

Some Wendy's locations have remodeled, some are still original from the 90s and one from 2003. The interiors are dated but the exteriors look ok still. 

Burger King just gutted all it's locations down to the frame and rebuilt them. 


The nearest Target to me I would say has seen the most remodels. Built in 1996, it saw it's first major overhaul in 2005 and has gotten added on to/redone about every 3 years since. Most recent changes were painting the walls gray (I hate gray) and replaced the warm toned fluorescents with LED's that give the store a nice crisp white tone reminiscent of stores of yesteryear. 


As for the hardware/home centers, a new Menard's went up a block away from one built in 1995. HD has stayed the same since they were built in the mid-late 90s, they also don't look old or worn in any way. Same goes for Lowes except those were built in 2001 and 2002 respectively. 

There is a Menard's on the other side of town that occupies an old Zayre built in the mid 70s, and still has much of the original facade. It sadly is in decay but I still like going there for the 70s department store experience. It even still has the central heating/cooling plant with the cooling tower on the roof (you can see an example in the second photo) and the mechanical room in the back corner. It has those massive diffusers in the ceiling to boot. 

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 948449 , Reply# 4   7/16/2017 at 10:55 (341 days old) by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        
Remodeled Restaurants Through the Years

classictvman81x's profile picture
I've been fascinated by this subject for years now!

In my area...

Our Burger King first opened around 1975, and was last remodeled in 2012.

Our current McDonald's replaced in 2000 the original location that was built in 1963. It has had only minor inside remodels since.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken... first opened around December 1966, was remodeled in the '70s, '80s and '90s... then closed in 2009, became a Taco Time, and finally demolished in 2012 to make room for a Walgreens store.

The Wendy's was first built around 1979, but has only had minor remodels recently. The Victorian roof was unchanged from the 1980s.


Post# 948458 , Reply# 5   7/16/2017 at 12:37 (341 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
The Rascal House

and Wolfie's diners in N. Miami beach and Miami beach.
Now that was an experience!
Waited in line talking to people like they were good friends, and even met a few from my own back yard who retired down there.
Yes, the decor was diner seafoam green, but the roast beef, soups, vinegar based cole slaw, etc. all so delicious.
You name it they had it. brisket, corned beef, chicken, potato salad, pastrami, stuffed cabbage, etc.
Nothing lasts forever. All gone and replaced with new developments.

Post# 948474 , Reply# 6   7/16/2017 at 14:27 (341 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
Our old KFC was probably from the 70s but was replaced in a new location around 1998 and its had a minor redo since, but not major. The old bldg became a rental car office for a car dealer and then was demolished.

Subway seems to move around the most and open new locations. One location had been in the same place since the 80s, never really went to that one more than once. It moved further down the plaze because that section was being demolished, then I noticed it has moved north again into an adjacent plaza.

Another Subway opened up way out of town in a former pizza restaurant in an area without any chain retail other than a new Dollar General but there are a lot of people out there.

The other Subway is still in its original 80s location and it's had one minor redo at least in its lifetime I'd guess 8 or 10 years ago.

There is one other Subway location but I'm not sure how old it is, I don't think it goes back that far.

We also got a new Taco Bell last year.

Post# 948479 , Reply# 7   7/16/2017 at 15:52 (341 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

All of the fast food places here in town have been remodelled or rebuilt at least once if not twice over the past 30-40 years with one glaring exception.. our one Taco Bell from the early 80's. It's still the same inside and outside and boy is it decrepit inside with chipped flooring, chipped and broken laminate on the tables,  faded ugly paint, stained ceiling tiles.. you really feel dirty eating in there. I'm actually surprised that the head office hasn't forced the franchisee to rebuild it or at least put in a new interior.  It's the same Taco Bell that was featured in Michael Moores movie Bowling For Columbine when he was here interviewing local students about something or other.   


Post# 948493 , Reply# 8   7/16/2017 at 20:24 (341 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Taco Bell's in this area were all closed and torn down to the studs just like Burger King in the last couple years. They all were really getting decrepit too, I think we only have one left that has yet to get gutted.

All Subways remodeled I wanna say around 2006ish, but can't say for sure. What I do remember is disliking that they removed the cozy environment full of booths and replaced it with only tables. In fact I remember the places always looking disorderly with tables and chairs always scattered about after that. We had a Subway in an old circa 1950s strip mall in a tiny space for the longest time, it even had a large window A/C over the door. That moved to a brand new strip mall across the street about 5 years ago.

Post# 948619 , Reply# 9   7/17/2017 at 15:51 (340 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Lots of Wendy's and BK's around here have been remodeled recently, with some still in the process. Frisch's Big Boy has also recently redone several of their locations. The Frisch's Mainliner, which was built in 1939, and expanded over the years, was rebuilt about 25 years ago. The new building is the standard Big Boy design from that time - nothing special. However, the old sign was retained. The food quality has gone downhill since new ownership, so don't eat there much.


Post# 948646 , Reply# 10   7/17/2017 at 18:09 (340 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

I worked in corporate at KFC Corporation 30 years ago (gawd I'm getting old) as a mystery shopper (!) so made my way around most of the country (cities, primarily) visiting corporate-owned KFC restaurants. In those days, there were only a few (roughly a dozen) corporate (as opposed to franchise) restaurants which dated from the '60s...the replacement cycle was roughly 25 years. In those days, there were a couple old restaurants in the far Atlanta suburbs (Cumming comes to mind) which were late 60s builds. There were 2-3 left in Memphis, a few in Chicagoland, and a few in Pittsburgh, and one in Minneapolis. These generally had the old chandeliers (milk-glass globes the shape of the bucket with the So Tender...So Tasty...North American's Hospitality Dish branding). They were clearly on the way out---every time we went back to a market (roughly every 6 months) they were closing. Fast food restaurants have changed significantly in how they proportion their space---much more prep work is occurring outside of the restaurant (as a f'rinstance, they still grated cabbage and mixed biscuits 30 years ago in the stores; Taco Bell similarly actually cooked in that era. Those days are long gone. You see it in how good bagged produce (shredded lettuce, etc) has become...that's been replicated many times over. Lots of technology and thought going into how to centralize and idiot-proof processes. I was recently in Kansas City and saw the first 3-in-1 (KenTacoHut) at 119/Metcalf has been scraped and is being rebuilt---the 30 year life is the truth. Be glad to answer any questions you might have!

Post# 948656 , Reply# 11   7/17/2017 at 19:44 (340 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
Yes, they all rebuild and make a mess reconstructing but does the average consumer care, I dont think so. More of an inconvenience and probably will avoid it as too much hassle to figure the place out when redone. Closest Wendy's is now a Tim Horton's. Go figure.

Post# 948863 , Reply# 12   7/18/2017 at 21:42 (339 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

All the Mickey D's here have been torn down and rebuilt within the last 7-8 years. A bunch of us were pissed because one of them had one of the original "LICENSEE OF MCDONALD'S SPEEDEE SERVICE SYSTEM" signs, and they got rid of it. (At least they gave it to a museum instead of just bulldozing it, but still.) Two of the Wendy's have been remodeled within the last six months. The current Arby's buildings are about five years old. There was one Arby's in town that had a cool two-level building with a semi-underground dining room that had curved glass greenhouse windows at the top, but they tore that down. There was a DQ that went back to the 1970s, but it burned down.

Not too many of the sit-down restaurants have remodeled except for Ruby Tuesday's, which has the corporate equivalent of ADD and can't leave the furniture, decor or menu alone for half an hour.

Post# 949014 , Reply# 13   7/19/2017 at 21:36 (338 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
No more Mac-Dohnolds w/ a Play Area--it moved a couple or so blocks down & turned into a Hamburger Joint that just serves FOOD!

-- Dave

Post# 949015 , Reply# 14   7/19/2017 at 21:40 (338 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
--And YES!--whatever happened to the Taco Bell HACIENDA????!!!!

(With the 🔔 BELL 🔔 on the roof?!)

-- Dave

Post# 949173 , Reply# 15   7/20/2017 at 22:03 (337 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
We had one of those old Wendy's from the late 70s and I don't know if it had ever been fully remodeled. It was old enough to have a salad bar at one time (remember when Wendy's had those?). But it closed in 2014 or so, not sure why. It was being remodeled into a Popeye's and has been supposedly coming soon but it all came to a halt for at least two or three months now.

I don't care for the way the McDonald's here was redone... the booths are just fixed hard chairs facing small tables and they are all crammed very close to each other to where it feels like you're sitting right next to the people beside you. The only other option is round tables with stools around them that look like footstools or ottomans.

I think there's one soft long booth along the back wall with small tables and chairs facing it. I always say it feels like a subway station. But I've noticed other McDonald's remodeled since have more comfortable and regular size booths.

I also notice they have signs saying the maximum visit time allowed is 45 minutes.

Post# 949205 , Reply# 16   7/21/2017 at 03:21 (336 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
May I share a little more?

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture
Somehow next to the old McDonald's before it got its play area was an Arthur Treacher's-turned-Seafood Bay, gaining its share of customers, not necessarily any unfair competition, just people looking for an alternative, often amid parents with children shouting "We want McDonald's, we want McDonald's!"...

Just unfair competition for it, as--you guessed it!--it never became Long John Silver's, just became a rental car outlet for the Ford dealer down the road, getting a few remnants of stock around the building, which afterwards sat vacant and unused, and after being torn down (a Poppin Fresh Pies, which became Bakers Square was once in the other side, getting leveled off, then nowadays is a storage place, like your a Public Storage, et. Al, I forgot the name of--but it's huge, two level and climate control, beside it a funeral home, which probabaly scared patrons of the former pie places it was next to) years later, a White Castle now stands, although closer to the main road, hence that block or two down, McD's is at and a similar distance from the street...

Similarly my Burger King that I'd once worked at, slinging hamburgers, went from a freestanding building to some upscale storefront type o' place, I'd eaten at a couple or more times...

Somehow Wendy's, Taco Bell's, and even Big Boy's that I had known, also became as mobile, so long stories, there, on their moves/developments!

-- Dave

Post# 949262 , Reply# 17   7/21/2017 at 10:42 (336 days old) by ClassicTVMan81X (Milwaukie, Oregon, USA)        

classictvman81x's profile picture

I think the Popeyes restaurant you're talking about that is being delayed... I believe the delay is due to Popeyes now being under the same ownership as Burger King and Tim Horton's.


Post# 949364 , Reply# 18   7/21/2017 at 23:43 (335 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Does anyone (that lives in a more humid climate) notice that the A/C doesn't work as good in a lot of these newer places than the older ones? I almost dread going to new restaurants these days because they're almost always cool and clammy, it drives me insane because I know what the issue is too and it's so stupid. They're required to bring in a certain amount of outside air and instead of using economizers they just cheap out and leave the outside air damper wide open sucking in outside air all the time.

Every restaurant I go into built before 2010 or so doesn't have that issue.

Post# 950930 , Reply# 19   7/31/2017 at 14:32 (326 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
Wendy's remodel

One by one each Wendy's restaurant is being remodeled in a 50 mile radius around me. One Taco Bell has been remodeled twice in the last 15 years, it was consolidated with KFC and Taco Bell. Within 10 yrs it is now strictly TACO BELL.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy