McDonald’s has operated at 6305 N.E. Antioch Road in Gladstone for more than four decades. Area franchisee Jim Wagy took over the restaurant in 2013 with plans to tear it down and build one of the latest McDonald’s designs.
On Friday he was so excited to get the nearly $3 million, three-month rebuild going he took a quick lesson in operating an excavator and then hopped into the cab. Soon he had taken out a big chunk of the back and north side of the restaurant.
“I pretty much demolished the whole drive-thru side of the building. It was kind of spontaneous and kind of fun,” Wagy said. “The contractors were pretty impressed with my hand/eye coordination, or wrecking skills.”
Wagy plays the drums and said that helped with the rhythm of the mechanics — using both feet and both hands.
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When it opens in late November, the new McDonald’s will have the capability to handle any new McDonalds’s menu item, dual drive-thru lanes, three pick-up windows and about two dozen additional parking spaces with the lease of a lot in back of the building.
Wagy became a McDonald’s franchisee on April 1, 1991, and now owns eight area locations, mostly in the Northland.
“I love working with the people. We have people who have been with us 30, 35 years,” said Wagy, who also is president of the Heart of America McDonald’s Advertising Co-op, a group of area McDonald’s franchisees, as well as board chair of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City.
Third Northland Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
In 2002, University of Kansas graduate Ryan Wenrich left his corporate job and teamed up with his brother, Eric Wenrich, who had recently graduated from Kansas State University, to open a Topeka franchise restaurant. They later opened another Topeka location.
Then, in 2010, they became Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchisees and now have a location in Topeka, one in Wichita with another under construction, and four in the Kansas City area, including one in Liberty and a new one at 2510 N.E. Vivion Road.
The Vivion Road location will have specials and giveaways, including free barbecue for a year for three people, through Sept. 4. Customers can register to win by using the hashtag #1FreeYearofBBQ on social media, by ordering online or by signing up for the Big Yellow Cup Club.
The menu includes beef brisket, chicken, turkey, Polish-style kielbasa, jalapeno cheddar kielbasa, pulled pork, pork ribs and barbecue honey ham, as well as sandwiches with pit-smoked meats and entree salads.
Dickey’s was founded in 1941 and now has more than 560 locations in 43 states, including the six Kansas City area locations and one in Lawrence.
Dickey’s took a space in the new Shops at Antioch & Vivion. The center, near Antioch Crossing, will have a total of 15,400 square feet of retail, restaurant and service operations in four buildings.
One former building and part of another have been demolished to increase visibility and allow for the parking lot to be expanded and to improve traffic flow, said John Byram, manager of Byram Real Estate in Prairie Village.
The other buildings have new stucco facades, increased parapet heights, glass storefronts, stone columns, awnings and lighting. One 3,200-square-foot space is still available and Byram is looking for a possible restaurant tenant.