Carrie Rengers

When the only McDonald’s in town closes

The one-and-only El Dorado McDonald’s is reopening on Sept. 28.
The one-and-only El Dorado McDonald’s is reopening on Sept. 28. Courtesy photo

McDonald’s restaurants regularly close in order to be rebuilt in newer styles, but what happens when the only McDonald’s in town closes?

Bob Lane, the owner of the McDonald’s in El Dorado, is finding out “wherever I go.”

“I went to the movies yesterday, and a dozen people stopped me,” he says.

“When are you going to open?” Lane says people keep asking. “When’s our McDonald’s coming back?”

Lane says he’s been determined to reopen on Sept. 28.

“What’s significant about Sept. 28 is that’s the date I opened it the first time in 1978,” he says.

“Well, we gotta hit this date.”

Lane has remodeled the restaurant several times, but this is the first time he’s rebuilt it.

The new restaurant will have a PlayPlace and, for the first time, dual drive-through lanes.

The new McDonald’s will be almost 6,500 square feet, which compares to just over 5,000 square feet for the previous one.

There will be a number of different celebrations and giveaways with the opening (check out the “El Dorado McDonald’s Grand Re-Opening” Facebook page).

Lane has 17 McDonald’s restaurants, including numerous ones in Wichita, and his Lane Enterprises has 27 total, including ones his son and nephew have.

“El Dorado’s sort of my pet,” says Lane, who also lives and works there.

Between hitting his original open date and trying to give the community its McDonald’s back, Lane says that it’s “been a frantic 76 days or whatever it is.”

“I hope that this pent-up energy will show up on the 28th,” he says. “It is definitely the community center for this town.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers