Plans Revealed for New McDonald’s on Wilson Blvd

by Katie Pyzyk July 24, 2012 at 11:50 am 8,494 76 Comments

McDonald’s is releasing some information about what its new restaurant in the Bluemont neighborhood will look like.

The existing restaurant closed earlier this month and will be demolished. An entirely new McDonald’s will be built on the site (5009 Wilson Blvd).

The interior will include the traditional booths and chairs, but a new lounge type of area will be added, as will new community tables. The different styles of seating are designed to give customers a variety of dining options to fit their lifestyles — from meeting new people at the communal seating to enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the lounge. Plasma screen TVs and free Wi-Fi will also be available.

“This construction is a part of McDonald’s focus to modernize and elevate the restaurant experience through upgrading to a more modern exterior design and providing upscale and contemporary interior décor,” said local McDonald’s franchisee Kyu Rhee.

Plans for the exterior are said to be consistent with the McDonald’s brand, while still allowing for flexibility with color and design materials to adapt to the neighborhood. There will be new landscaping and an easily identifiable drive through.

The construction is intended to show McDonald’s customers that the company can change with the times and with customer needs, while retaining the brand’s basic principles. The new restaurant is expected to open late in October.

  • SomeFatty

    Comfy seating, wide screens, Wi-Fi and McDonalds. I’m literally in tears.

  • Frivolous

    I just want a big mac

  • Rick

    But will there be a conveyor belt!?!?!

    • P. Monroe

      Touche, sir! Right where i was going: SAVE THE CONVEYOR BELT!

      • D’Artagnan

        (Pssst. Totally and completely inappropriate / nonsensical use of the word “Touche.” Just FYI.)

        • drax


    • bobco85

      Even though I haven’t been to that McDonald’s in years, I have fond childhood memories when they had the glass window where you could watch the food as it passed overhead to the drive-thru. I am still surprised that I never saw one of those drinks tip over en route!

      I wonder if they will do something similar to the Bob Peck Chevrolet design at Wilson/Glebe and have a portion of the ceiling stick out to commemorate it. I’d be fine with a memorial plaque 😉

      • Arlington, Northside

        I have memories of before they put up the glass and one could grab themselves an extra happy meal or shake if they were tall and quick enough…. 😉

      • Trish

        I’m so glad that someone finally confirmed what I’d thought for a while! I’d guessed that the design on that new building at Wilson & Glebe was a throwback to the old Chevy dealership, but no one else seemed to remember what the old dealership looked like since it has been so long since they tore it down.

  • JamesE

    All you can eat McNuggets please

  • b-money

    Lipstick on a pig, anyone?

  • Ralph

    “dining options”? At McDonalds?

    The verb “dining” is not the first that comes to mind.

  • Tabby_TwoTone

    *sits down with ‘new friends’*

    “So, come here often? It would appear so. Hey, you gonna finish those fries?”

  • JnA

    I KNEW the 2100 Trolls would be unhappy that McDonalds is building a new restaurant by right instead of via a phased development site plan.

    • SoArl

      … with affordable housing

  • That intersection, Geo. Mason & Wilson, needs help. I hope the parking lot can be reconfigured to allow for a turnlane to be added on Wilson, along with pedestrian improvements. I suspect the plans are for building improvements only.

    • Rick

      Turn lane? You must be new here…

      • bobco85

        At least he didn’t say slip lane. That term is so 2011.

        • Josh S

          And would have instantly propelled the comment count into the stratosphere….

    • TJ

      That intersection was recently (past 5 years or so) redone, complete with pedestrian safety improvements. The intersection is fine.

      If you want to make a left turn into McDonalds from NB George Mason, go left on Wilson (you’ll get an arrow), then turn right.

      • fine? B.S.!! try turning left from Wilson onto NB Geo. Mason any evening.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Ain’t that the truth!

    • drax

      The lack of a turn lane IS a pedestrian improvement.

      A slip lane was removed from across the street a few years back when they widened the sidewalks.

    • Mc

      I hope the parking lot disappears

  • JimPB


    Does McDonalds, Inc. own this property? (I understand that McDonald’s owns many but not all of the properties on which its outlets are located.)

    Has the food operation at the site been franchised? will the food operation be franchised with the new building? (I understand that McDonald’s franchises most but not all of its outlets.) If so, what is the franchisee doing while demolition and then construction is happening at the site?

    • John Fontain

      All of your questions were answered in the original article on this project.

    • Arlingtune

      The owner of the land is listed as a PNC Bank Trusteeship.

    • arlcyclist

      Based on a comment by John Fontain on the earlier post about the McD’s closing it appears to be franchised owned by the trust of Pietro and Rosa Orcino. Pietro was head chef and owner of the famed DC caterer and restaurant, Avignone Freres, the exclusive caterer of White House events from Eisenhower to Reagan. It appears they were savvy enough with their investments to buy into McD’s some years ago.

      Based on the building permit, it appears that it’s the franchise who has taken on the demolition and construction so maybe they’re focused on that throughout the process?

      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

  • Josh S

    Wait, they’re going to tear it down, build a new restaurant from scratch and have it ready for business in three months?

    What is this, China?

    • Mario

      1 week to demo
      3 weeks to frame it
      3 weeks to enclose it including roof
      2 weeks to finish out the interior + HVAC, plumbing and electrical
      2 weeks for appliance and furniture installation
      1 week for systems testing, inspections, punch list etc.

      Totally do-able.

      • Cyrus

        2 years – Profit

    • South Awwlington

      Same thing happening on LRT in Annadale.

      I’d swear the old structure was standing last week. The new super structure is already being erected this week.

      Businesses always minimize their time closed for renos.

      • Justin Russo

        You mean like Bronx Pizza?

  • gymmyray

    New McDonald’s restaurant designs are moving away from the typical fast food booths which encourage folks to sit for long lengths of time with free wifi.

    The new stores have much less seating overall and encourage people to eat and go.

    • Rick

      Have you been in a new mcdonalds? They’re quite lovely, for a fast food place.

    • ArlingtonNative

      Uhh … did you read the story?
      “enjoying a quiet cup of coffee in the lounge. Plasma screen TVs and free Wi-Fi will also be available” … doesn’t exactly sound like they are encouraging folks to move along!

      • daniel

        I’m betting the turnover is quicker than you think. How long would you sit around if you had old man Peabody asking you about your iPad every 5 minutes?

  • Grumpy

    Miller Lite girls.

    • YTK

      Hooters Girlies. Supersize mine please.

  • The Dope of South Arlington

    Are there enough Hispanics in that area to support a McDonald’s?

    • Tallstoy

      I used to live in Bluemont and would occasionally grab coffee here. The majority demographic at this location is Caucasian and 70+ years old. The surrounding community has a large elderly population and a Sunrise assisted living location on Wilson. Over the 2 years or so I would stop in here once a week, I observed that these patrons seemed to enjoy “hanging out” at the McDonalds and having some coffee and maybe a meal. The management seems to be recognizing this and adapting to accommodate it. This is what they call good business.

    • Hispanics? McDonalds is great for people on fixed income, like old retired people. Anyone who has ventured into the Bluemont McDonald knows that it’s practically a senior center, many of whom are White. They don’t just eat, but hang out there.

      Nice try. Racist comment fail.

      • The Dope of South Arlington

        All the McDonald’s I’m use to are about 80% Central American. I thought they were the only people who still ate fast food (not counting teenagers). Did not know about the Senior Citizen aspect of this particular location. Thanks for the info.

        • Westover

          You need to get out of south Arlington and live the good life.

      • drax

        The Dope is always sarcastic.

      • Elmer

        Any late morning or mid-afternoon there, you’ll also see a lot of post office mail carriers. All races and ages.
        They may get their exercise walking door to door mail deliveries but that fast food diet is killing them.
        Our Nanny-in-Chief Michelle Obama needs to look into this. Might save the post office from bankruptcy on health care costs and early disability retirements.

        • Smellmer

          Michelle Obama doesn’t have any regulatory power. And everyone knows Republican Michael Bloomberg is the Nanny-in-Chief

          • Elmer

            She will have that power if the Huckster-In-Chief (still selling that “Hope and Change” snake oil) gets another term. And you are wrong on Micheal Bloomberg. He left the Republican party in 2007 and won his last term as an Independent.
            Try again.

          • Michael Bloomberg

            I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me.

          • Elmer

            I’ll bet there are more former Dems saying that about the party leaving them (including this one) than there are Republicans!

          • JimPB

            I like nanny’s. They look after and protect their charges. There are dangers out there — too often corporations seeking to maintain or (better for them) increase their profits, consequences for consumers be dammed. Tobacco companies are at the top of the list. They have and use enormous financial resources for pedaling their highly addictive, lethal and impairing product. Leave the field of information, influence and policy to them — a disaster for public health. A nanny public health counter weight is both highly appropriate and desirable. Unfortunately, public health has minute financial resources its resources are largely scientific and public health facts about the ill effects of tobacco. Fortunately, truth has had some success against the power of greed. It would have had greater beneficial impact had states used their tobacco settlement money as it was supposed to be used: to help those addicted to smoking to quit and for preventing the initiation of tobacco, especially by youth.

  • drax

    Enough with the damn TVs everywhere. McDonald’s is annoying enough without TVs.

  • Based upon the people I’ve seen driving into there while I’m waiting at the light, most of the customers are going to continue using the drive through b/c walking a few steps into the McDonalds would be too much of an attempt at exercise for them.

  • donald

    ahhh this is why i love arlington! the diversity and plethora of choices when it comes to dining out! ted’s montana one night, mcdonald’s the next, asian fusion, true irish pubs, american food! we’ve truly got it all! yet another notch in the belt of an upcoming, young, professional, urban locale. tip top!

  • Even McDonalds in Arlington can’t avoid having a TV that shows sports! lol

  • dallynd

    The demographic is not mostly 70+ for the McD’s: Bluemont also has a lot more than just the assisted living home across the street. That McD’s is the only one between Columbia Pike and Lee Highway. Service employees, pre-soccer game breakfast. Good move. I also remember that they closed for an employee Christmas party – not something you see at a fast food place very often.

    • Artie Fufkin

      “That McD’s is the only one between Columbia Pike and Lee Highway.”

      Wrong. There is one at Glebe and 50 that recently went through the demo and rebuild process.

    • Ronald

      There are 5 McDonald’s along the Glebe Road corridor between Lee Highway & Columbia Pike (3 miles).

      4834 Lee Highway
      4238 Wilson Blvd #120
      5009 Wilson Boulevard
      40 North Glebe Road
      3013 Columbia Pike

      • george

        Sorry, no value added here. Four of these are articulated above, and the fifth is in the food court at Ballston, hardly a “McDonald’s Restaurant” facility.

  • chris

    I want my McTV

  • I know there will be a lot of McDonalds hate in this post, but I for one commend Big M’s effort to modernize their stores. Everyone drives through McDonalds, but few venture inside. They’re clearly aiming for the Starbucks market of casual business meetings and people on laptops that sit around and use the free wifi for hours. Hours! People hang out at Starbucks for hours and keep buying stuff! Why wouldn’t McDonalds want part of that action?

    I’ve always been against the cookie-cutter franchise model where every store not only has to have the same food, but the same crappy furniture/decor and customer service experience. I’d much rather have each McDonalds be unique and showcase the local personality. Or why can’t some Starbucks serve beer and wine? Or focus on latte art and serving coffee in mugs?

    • Juanita de Talmas

      Or better yet, have a locally-owned business provide those products/services.

      • Lee-n-Glebe

        It appears that this McD’s is a “locally-owned business”.

        • Openly Gator

          If you count a franchise as locally-owned, yeah sure.

          • Mario

            What would you call it?

          • Openly Gator

            “a franchise”

    • Greg

      “Everyone drives through McDonalds, but few venture inside.”

      I think this was the original beginning to Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.

  • Elmer

    So how many “under and unemployed” lawyers will be working behind the counter?
    New joke: Lawyer asks will you will have fries with your order?

  • arlgirl

    …in other words, it will be more like a Starbucks?

  • snob

    has anyone noticed this location used to put out extremely burnt tasting coffee? if they fix that issue, bravo!

    • Stella Liebeck

      Just don’t spill any on you…

  • GC NOW

    Any word on a playland? The McD on Lee highway in the winter mints money from parents looking for a place to let the kids play when it’s frozen outside.
    Now if we could only get a REAL Chik-Fil-A here…

  • Alex

    Get it done. That area looks likes like a slum. Plant some trees please.

  • David

    Geazer Alarm here – but a little history for that mcd’s. Grew up very close to there – could smell the real oil french fries cooking from my bedroom window (early/mid 1960’s) — during that particular mcd’s grand opening – they filmed a commercial and all the local kids got to march by the camera holding signs etc. And — good old Willard Scott before he hit the big time was the Ronald McDonald. We kids took great delight in stomping on his clown shoes to see if his feet were really that large….ah…good times!

  • Complete Streets Proponent

    Glebe Road REDO was a dissappointment.

    Please use Universal Acceptance models so that Grandma and Grandpap can go with the Soccer Team. Wheelchairs are people who use WiFi too! Many have quit goin going decades ago ’cause management then denied them any service.

    Please actually open the doorsand seating to all!


Subscribe to our mailing list