By Brian Swartz
Weekly Staff Editor
BANGOR — With a snip of the giant scissors, Marty Eckmann could finally respond “yes” to a question he has heard repeatedly since early last spring.
In a ribbon-cutting ceremony held July 11, Eckmann and his father, Gary Eckmann, officially opened the new McDonald’s at 665 Hogan Road, Bangor. The Eckmanns are the owners and operators of this McDonald’s and seven others in Bangor, Brewer, Dover-Foxcroft and Millinocket.
Diners already packed the restaurant as civic and community leaders, a Veterans of Foreign Wars color guard and Scouts joined the Eckmanns to dedicate the new restaurant. It replaces a McDonald’s built on-site in 1979 and torn down in early April 2013.
At that time Gary Eckmann planned on a July 11 opening. For many Bangor Mall shoppers accustomed to dining at the Hogan Road McDonald’s, three months seemed too long to wait.
“The whole time we were closed, people were asking me when we were going to open,” Marty Eckmann said. He heard anecdotal evidence that Canadian shoppers were particularly anxious to eat at McDonald’s again.
General manager for the construction project was Glenburn-based Noyes Construction, which has built other restaurants for the Eckmanns. “We hired local contractors,” Gary Eckmann said.
The Hogan Road McDonald’s will be open 5 a.m.-midnight, Sunday through Saturday. The 4.400-square-foot restaurant features a two-lane drive-through with a top capacity of 200 cars per hour, he indicated. The kitchen is larger; the dining area can seat 96 people.
According to a separate press release, the restaurant features such energy-saving technology as an energy management system and an energy-efficient HVAC system.
The new McDonald’s will employ 75 people, 25 percent more than did the original restaurant. The Eckmanns assigned the 60 temporarily displaced employees to other restaurants.
Bangor Mayor Nelson Durgin said “this has been a very special project to revitalize this part of Hogan Road.” Durgin and Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce President John Porter cited the restaurant’s additional jobs as a positive development.
The Eckmanns presented separate $1,000 checks to the Bangor Recreation and Parks Department and Camp Capella. The VFW color guard raised an American flag on a tall flagpole set near Hogan Road. J.R. Mitchell sang the National Anthem.
Cub Scouts from Pack 21, Dedham-Holden, and Boys Scouts from Troop 44, Orrington, then held a red ribbon festooned with dollar bills. Even as the Eckmanns prepared to cut the ribbon with giant scissors, drivers edged their vehicles away from the nearby drive-through window and waited for the road to clear.
And with a “snip,” the Hogan Road McDonald’s was back in business.