2nd largest restaurant chain, construction of new Cedar Rapids location

A longtime American favorite is building a new restaurant in Cedar Rapids. This will mark the chain’s return to one of the busiest roads in Cedar Rapids.

McDonald’s is returning to 1st Avenue for the first time since a location in the 1500 block of 1st Avenue NE closed after the derecho in August 2020.

A Cedar Rapids building permit has been issued for a new McDonald’s at 4520 1st Avenue NE last fall. The permit says the restaurant will be 4,445 square feet in size and construction costs are expected to be just under $1.5 million.

The new restaurant will be on the south side of the Lindale Mall, where an American bank (pictured below) was recently removed. The bank was built in 1985 and was about half the size (2,454 square feet) of the McDonald’s building that will be built there.

Work on the future McDonald’s site has already begun:

In april 1955, the first McDonald’s restaurant opened east of the Mississippi River in Des Plaines, Illinois. The restaurants were then very different:

The menu also:

McDonald’s has a long history in Cedar Rapids. the First open at 3916 1st Avenue NE. This location is now home to the Basix Bar and is just half a mile from where the new McDonald’s will be built.

The second McDonald’s in Cedar Rapids was built in early 1970s at 2615 Williams Blvd SW. It was expanded less than a decade later with a new McDonald’s building constructed in the same location in the early 2000s. The site has now been home to McDonald’s for at least 50 years.

City of Cedar Rapids

Town of Cedar Rapids via History Center

You can’t talk about the history of McDonald’s in Cedar Rapids without including the downtown location. It opened in early 1982 at 109 2nd Street SE, in a building that had previously housed JCPenney for 49 years. JCPenney moved to Westdale Mall in 1979. The downtown McDonald’s was the largest in Iowa when it opened and was also the only one in a downtown location. The restaurant could accommodate 184 people. It closed in 2002.

Metro Cedar Rapids is currently home to seven McDonald’s restaurants, five in Cedar Rapids and two in Marion. We will let you know the hours of the new location as soon as it becomes available.

McDonald’s is the second biggest chain of restaurants in the world with nearly 38,000 establishments. Subway has over 41,000 stores.

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