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McDonald's demo still slated

By By Adam Prestridge
Atmore's golden arches are still scheduled to come tumbling down later this year.
Tuesday, Hafez Corporation owner Ebrahim Maghsoud confirmed that the McDonald's located at 1414 S. Main Street in Atmore will be torn down and rebuilt in September, a few months later than first projected.
"First, we ran into some issues with permits, but then we found out about the big development coming in at Interstate 65 and Hwy. 21 and we considered holding off and relocating down there," Maghsoud said. "We later found out that they are still a couple of years away from the project being completed. We didn't want to lose the city, so we decided to go with our original plan."
Hafez Corporation also performed a survey throughout Atmore and a majority of the residents surveyed were against the move so far out of town.
"We found out that we had a lot of loyal customers," Maghsoud said. "A lot of them said that they wouldn't drive that far out of town to eat."
Even though Maghsoud doesn't have a definitive date of demolition, he did say he hopes the new, state-of-the-art location will be up and running before St. Nick makes his 2006 run.
"We're still going to tear down this building," he said. "We already have a corporate plan. The building we're going to build here is the newest prototype McDonald's has. The project is definitely going to be happening this year. We're hoping we can be open before Christmas."
The closest McDonald's that features the new prototype is in New Orleans, La.
Maghsoud said additions to the new location would include flat-screen televisions in the dining area, console video games, interactive games for all ages, upscale bathrooms and upscale d/cor. There are no plans to rebuild a playground.
"We know children want to do something when they come to McDonald's, but feel we're limiting ourselves with a playground," Maghsoud said.
Since purchasing the Atmore McDonald's location, Maghsoud has made several improvements including tearing down the dilapidated playground, offering customers various payment options, different hours of operation and several cosmetic improvements, including fresh coats of paint inside and out, parking lot improvements and some landscaping upgrades. Customers can now pay with a credit card or debit card, can purchase gift cards or surf the Internet with McDonald's wireless capabilities. The Atmore McDonald's also stays open 24 hours a day starting at 6 a.m. Thursday morning until 11 p.m. Sunday night.
Maghsoud has been successful with McDonald's Corporation over the past 24 years and has compiled a stellar resume. He is owner of the Bay Minette, Loxley and Fairhope McDonald's locations, as well as two McDonald's restaurants in Mobile.