McDonald’s on Wilson Closes for Construction

by Katie Pyzyk July 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm 9,544 107 Comments

The McDonald’s at the Corner of Wilson Blvd and George Mason Drive has suddenly closed, at least for now.

Although a couple of employees were spotted milling around inside, the restaurant is dark and the parking lot is taped off. A sign hanging in the window says the restaurant is closed for construction.

McDonald’s has not yet responded to our request for information about how long the Bluemont location will be closed and exactly what type of construction is taking place.

  • Ballston

    I just hope they keep the conveyor belt.

    • Rick

      THANK YOU. Food tastes better to me if I know it’s been 10 feet in the air going 3 miles per hour

      • DW

        This McDonald’s had a conveyor belt? Now I wish I’d gotten out of my car instead of missing it at the drive through.

        • Ballston

          It carried food from the kitchen to the drive through, so you’ve been enjoying it all this time and had no idea.

    • daniel


    • Westover

      I would guess that is at the top of the reasons it is getting torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

      That said, I think the statute of limitations has passed and made it safe for me to admit having swiped a happy meal or two from the conveyor belt back in my youth when it was exposed to the world. 😉

      • jackson

        Yet people are incensed the valedictorian who volunteers at the hospital isn’t “Amurican.”

        • Westover

          As the son of an immigrant on one side, and those going back hundreds of years in this country on the other side, I say let that girl have all the happy meals she can steal!!! It is the American teenager way, no matter where you are from, and how your famiy got here(just don’t steal cars or items of real value;) )! USA! USA! USA!

  • novasteve

    Are they going to improve it by making it into a taco bell?

  • DarkHeart

    New, improved High Density Ten Story McDonalds? I thought they were dark because of the derecho.

    • Hank

      Mayor McCheese declared a state of emergency and shut the whole operation down.

      • Tabs

        Watch out! Hamburglar is hiding in the men’s room.

        • Id

          He’s known in there as the Bugger Burglar.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    When I drove by the day after the derecho, I thought they were closed since power was out in the area.

    • Greg

      I was there the next day and they were serving. The drive-thru line was around the block and onto Wilson.

    • Ballston

      They were open early the day after, but were closed when I drove by at 8pm. I’d assumed they had a generator and it ran out by evening.

  • BluemontFred

    It’s closed for about 4 months. The construction has been scheduled for months and was originally supposed to happen in April.

    • Ken Schellenberg

      I don’t think so. I ate there last week, Friday at noon I think it was. After the deracho.

  • Tabby_TwoTone

    Y’all will have to cross the border into S. Arlington.

    • JohnB2

      There’s one up on 29 west of Glebe.

    • There’s also…

      one on Glebe just north of 50. That’s NORTH of 50. North Arlington.

      That’s probably the closest to this one.

  • alex1138

    Now where am I supposed to go for a big mac?!?

    • Rick

      2 miles up the road to Lee Highway? Or the mall…

    • bluemont

      There’s a McD’s in the Mall about 6 blocks away 🙂

      • DW

        Also on Glebe and 50.

        • alex1138

          There’s also one by the Starbucks.

  • John Fontain

    From the building permit status website:

    Permit # B1200560
    Address 5009 WILSON BLVD
    Type CNEW
    Status ACTIVE
    Applied Date 03/16/2012
    Approved Date 05/09/2012
    Date Issued 07/02/2012

    • John Fontain

      Sounds like the late owners have a classic American rags to riches tale…


      • DarkHeart

        Why are they still listed as owners?

        • John Fontain

          The “TR” at the end of the owners’ names indicates the property is owned by the family’s trust.

          • DarkHeart

            I wondered if “ROSA P TR” was possibly a typo/elision.

    • drax





      • JamesE

        I wish it said TACO BELL BUILD

        • Westover

          Just go up George Mason Dr to Rt 29, take a right, Taco Bell a few blocks up on the left.

        • John K

          Yes, but a Taco Bell right there would be right there. And, dare I say it, walkable from Ballston AND Bon Air.

    • Westover

      My grandparents were friends with the Orcino’s and did business with them. Great people.

    • CW

      Can they rebuild it? Do they have the technology?

      • Tabs


  • Traffic Jammin

    This blog post sounds hilariously like an Onion article where the purported author is frustrated and lurking around a McDonald’s where s/he desperately wants to order food.

  • John

    Mixed use McDonalds?

    • Arlington

      They are all mixxed use; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, mid-day/mid-night snacks, lottering, ect.

      • Aaron

        Will part of the McDonald’s be set aside for those earning less than 60% of the area’s average household income? Otherwise I’m not sure how to explain how the County Board approved the issuance of this building permit other than blatant favoritism.

        • Aaron

          Oh wait, this is in NORTH Arlington. Never mind!!!!

          • DarkHeart

            I prefer “Central Arlington”

        • cranky crankypants

          if it’s by right, the board didn’t have to look at it.

    • PushHeightLimits

      I hope they are adding at least 10 stories of housing on top, just to annoy the Bluemont cry babies that are against the Safeway for no good reason.

  • chris

    Sudden closure seems like a bit of ArlNow sensationalism….

    • John Fontain

      I was in line at the drive through and they were about to hand me my 700 piece nuggets when they suddenly said we’re closed and slammed shut the drive thru window.

      • JamesE

        Trevor took all the McNuggets!

      • nom de guerre

        He just took the Fryes.

      • ClownishBro

        were they PROPER nuggets?

        • JamesE

          where can I get some proper NYC style nuggets???

          • novasteve

            Any women offering sexual favors for mcnuggets at this particular mcdonalds? What will happen if this place is closed for months?

  • nom de guerre

    I hear the new building will be LEED Certified and will bring 75 new jobs to Arlington.

  • Great, just what arlington needs – a newly built burger joint!

  • John Fontain

    This new McDonald’s that replaces the old McDonald’s in the exact same spot will probably drive all the surrounding small business owners out of business.

  • DW

    Maybe the new McDonald’s will serve breakfast 24/7. THEN ALL WILL BE RIGHT IN THE WORLD.

    • Westover

      The McDonald’s that does such a thing, will dominate the Market for miles around. Not sure the powers that be in Oak Brooke will allow such a thing.

  • James Moron

    I can only hope for a Playland. The one on Lee Highway sucks.

    • Stating the Obvious

      As does that Mcdonalds in general.

  • charles

    Irrelevant. Closing one McDonalds will not help us in the slightest.

    • Westover

      What? It is only being closed to be rebuilt into a better greater awsomer McDonald’s! That will hopefully help us get in and out of the drive-thru with everything we order much quicker!

  • Joey

    Did anyone else feel that the sodas at this McDonalds were always a little flat?

    Because of it, I’ve generally avoided it for the past several years, eating instead at the one on Lee Highway when I had a craving.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Yep, I found the same thing.

    • NancyDrew

      I order diet cokes at this location frequently and they are fine. However, I ordered one this past Saturday and it was flat and horrible.

    • Flat fries

      Completely agree. They also often have old fries and very slow service. The one on Lee highway has much fresher food and its service crushes this place.

      • ProfessionalObserver

        You’re totally right about old food. I ordered a Filet-O-Fish at this McDonald’s that had an expiration date of June 1972.

        • FredB

          Those are leftover from when they build it,

  • YTK

    So where are the cab drivers going to eat now???

    • YTK

      (The parking lot was always packed with cabs.)

      • James Moron

        Having to explain your own joke on ARLNow is never a good sign

        • YTK

          Wasn’t meant to be a joke.
          Signing out now.

  • Glebe & 50 Troll

    The McD’s at Glebe and 50 also underwent a tear down and rebuild.

    I don’t know/understand the economics of tearing down a well functioning building to build basically the same thing.

    • Westover

      Cheaper/faster/easier than a remodel as many a homeowner can tell you.

    • John Fontain

      True, and did you notice that all the surrounding small businesses went out of business just like that which will happen when the safeway is rebuilt?

    • Stating the Obvious

      Just to add an additional window at the drive through that I’ve NEVER seen open!

    • NancyDrew

      Hopefully, there will be more places to plug in laptops. There was only one place and it was in the ceiling.

      • Westover

        It’s a freaking McDonald’s fast food joint, not a tele-work center.

    • 5555624

      Although the one at Glebe and 50 was not originally a McDonald’s, unlike this one. The one at Glebe and 50 was a Roy Rogers and before that Gino’s and started out as a Tops. (I feel really old now.) The Roy Rogers internal kitchen arrangement was being gutted, which was one reason, I was told, they decided to rebuild the place.

      • Westover

        Yummy! Bring back Gino’s and Roy Rogers! I have to drive past old town to BelleHaven for a freaking Double R Burger these days!!!

  • nom de guerre

    I came across this top secret rendering of the proposed new restaurant design.


    • Sam Walton

      So is the play area INSIDE the yellow tape or OUTSIDE? I guess it’s a moot point since it’s all a parking lot filled with cab drivers.

  • Max Cacas

    All McDonalds nationwide are in the midst of a makeover. They generally take four months, but the reno of one in Chantilly took almost six months. They have been tearing down the existing structure, and ruilding new on the slab, so that strange little conveyor to the drive through may be history.

  • Erin

    I called McDonalds corporate about this McDonalds 6 months ago after a man who was hiding in between the pay window and pickup window tried to approach my car- which my kids were in. I had to lunge forward in my car screaming to get him to go away- I only saw him because I was watching in my side mirror.

    I told them I thought the entrance/nook in between the two windows was potentially dangerous for people stuck in the line, for their cashiers, and for pedestrians using that door to enter. They called me back and said they planned to remodel the building and would not include such a nook/entrance.

    • CW

      I hope you never have to live in a big city. People moving from nooks in ones general direction, truly horrifying.

  • AndreaT

    The renovation on Rt 7 in Tyson’s seemed pretty quick. I drive by it on my commute home and feel like one day it was closed, a few weeks later it was under construction, and then it was reopened and brand-new. I wonder if they are getting the same revitalization: stone block exterior with sleek yellow swoop (versus iconic red roof and M), padded booths, flat-screen t/vs on the walls… And to the person wondering if we’ll get a PlaySpace, were you aware the Traditional School behind the McD’s has a couple nice playgrounds? I confess my family often tries to work off our Egg McMuffins there when the weather’s nice!

  • Erin

    CW: When I lived in Capitol Hill I would walk home from work at night in the large median on Penn. Ave. to avoid nooks:) Seriously, a friend of mine was held at gunpoint from a lurker so I am a bit paranoid- but someone did come after us out of the McDonalds nook. It was creepy.

  • JB

    I heard it’s going to be the flagship location for the new Sam’s Corner franchise.

    • nom de guerre

      Sssshhhh. I thought that was proprietary information.

  • ArlForest

    The new McD’s are put up so amazingly fast too. Its pretty impressive.

    • BanjoBill

      Yet it took 4 years to replace the tiny little humpback bridge on the GW. Amazing how money can either speed up or delay a project depending on which side there is the most profit to be made…

      • CW

        Hmm, small fast-food restaurant built to the same standardized spec as hundreds of others versus a one-off engineering project involving rerouting a heavily trafficked thoroughfare over a major waterway on National Park Service cland.

        A true apples-to-apples comparison if I’ve ever seen one.

        • BanjoBill

          Ok, how about this then – Fenway Park was built in 7 months, and the Empire State Building was built in two years. The Golden Gate Bridge was built in 4 years, and that’s about the amount of time it took to build one span of the new Wilson bridge – it should not take the same amount of time to replace a structure as small as the Humpback Bridge unless someone is milking it.

          • CW

            Hey man, I’m with you on the speed and cost of modern infrastructure projects. I was just saying that comparison to a built-to-spec fast food place was a little unfair.

          • Id

            The Humpback Bridge’s engineering was not a straight forward as you think, and the volume of traffic made it difficult as they could not shut down permanently the roadway to do the work.

      • maxnewsroom


        What does the rebuilding of the humpback bridge have to do with the rebuliding of the McDonalds? If you have a problem with the rebuilding of the humpback bridge, go complain to the U.S. Park Service.

        Some people…

  • JnA

    Time to go with by-right redevelopment for Safeway, as is happening at the McDonalds rather than the the site-plan charade ugly mega infill ‘planned’ for Safeway.

    • Id

      They are probably giving it the Euro-McDs look. The clownly looking buildings have been going bye-bye.

  • JakeO

    Let’s hope for a two-lane drive thru! One will be a HOT lane that you’ll have to pay a 20% premium for in order to go through it…the other will be for ‘rest of us’…

    • Fredericksburg White Guy

      I’m down with paying a 20% premium – providing that the HOT lane actually serves me hot and pseudo-freshly made food and not the 2-day old crap they usually serve. Cold, stale fries just don’t work.

  • Sarah

    I’ll be going to Two Chefs Pizza for my weekend breakfast!!!

  • Owen R.

    They’re replacing the conveyor belt with a system that delivers the food on rails. The cost of the new McDs is now $275 million, but it’s going to make the restaurant more livable.

  • Arlingtonian

    I must admit, I’m really curious about this mysterious conveyor belt. Is it like this one? http://youtu.be/o8XurJjVkWs

    • Westover

      Exactly, but in a strange twist, the one in laid back Hawaii is far faster then the old one in high strung Arlington.

  • FYI

    McDonald’s Corp used to require its franchisees to tear down and rebuild their buildings from scratch every 20 years or so. I would guess that is still the case. It’s pretty standard practice in many franchise operations.


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