Hilliard's new Cemetery Road McDonald's is expected to open by June 30 at the northeast corner of Cemetery Road and Britton parkway.
McDonald's and Hilliard officials gathered April 3 in a steady rain for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $2.6-million, 4,900-square-foot restaurant that is expected to serve as a prototype for future sites.
The new McDonald's will be at the entrance to the Gateway development, opposite the Giant Eagle store under construction at the northwest corner of the intersection.
It will replace the McDonald's restaurant at the corner of Cemetery Road and Lyman Drive, fewer than 1,000 feet east of the new site.
The McDonald's on Lyman Drive, owned by Jim Holowicki and his son, Scott, opened in 1983. It will be demolished upon the completion of the new restaurant.
The interior of the new restaurant will feature images of Hilliard landmarks, such as First Responders Park, as well as references to street names in the city and other nods to things unique to Hilliard.
"You will know you are in the McDonald's in Hilliard," said Jim Holowicki, who owns 17 McDonald's franchises with his son.
The new restaurant will have other features likely to show up in future sites, including tables with built-in LED lights. The lights turn on when touched, providing an interactive experience for children.
The lobby of the restaurant will have separate counters for ordering and pick up. The restaurant also will have a double drive-through.
McDonald's is leasing the site on which the new restaurant is being constructed. It is immediately west of the Speedway station and once was a BP station.
A connecting road between Britton Parkway and Lyman Drive, just north of Cemetery Road, will provide access to the new location.