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McDemolition Time: Teardown for Auburn McDonald’s building

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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The demolition of an Auburn fast-food landmark began in earnest Wednesday morning.

The 42-year-old McDonald’s on Lincoln Way at Bowman’s Foresthill exit had closed last Thursday in advance of prep work that started Monday for a giant shovel to move in and start ripping through the restaurant.

And while the work to take down the building marked the end of a structure that housed Auburn’s first McDonald’s, it also marked a beginning.

Once the building has been demolished and all the rubble taken away, work will start on building a new, more modern McDonald’s at the same location, business spokeswoman Edie Kuik said.

The closure of the new McDonald’s caught some customers by surprise, she said.

“But most people are understanding — and excited about a new McDonald’s re-opening,” Kuik said. “And the Bell Road McDonald’s remains open for customers.”

The groundbreaking for the 1976 McDonald’s marked a milestone in Auburn restaurant history, with a fabled brand moving into a Foresthill exit business area rapidly expanding after completion of the Foresthill Bridge in 1973. The bridge link to Foresthill from Auburn came with a new off-ramp and on-ramp from Interstate 80.

Over the years, other eateries would join McDonald’s, creating a popular stopping off point for motorists some would dub the Foresthill exit and others would nickname Hamburger Hill.

McDonald’s Big Macs and Quarter Pounders will not be absent from the Foresthill exit location for very long.

Auburn’s Robert Kassity, who has owned the Lincoln Way and Bell Road franchises since 1987, plans to have the new building open for business in the early part of 2019, Kuik said.