New home for Watseka McDonald’s found?

August 31, 2018

WATSEKA — While no papers have been signed and no price agreed upon as of yet, it appears a new home might have been found for the McDonald’s restaurant in Watseka.

And the potential new home — about a half-mile east of the closed McDonald’s — was most recently the home of Burger King, one of the fast-food retailer’s chief competitors.

McDonald’s franchisee Wayne Jarosh, of Iroquois County, confirmed Wednesday the sites being considered are two lots, one for the former Burger King at 504 W. Walnut St., and also the former Flower Shak, 518 W. Walnut St.

The BK restaurant closed in September 2017.

The McDonald’s at 825 W. Lafayette St. has been closed since Feb. 20 when yet another Iroquois River flood closed the restaurant.

Jarosh had reached the point of no return. He was no longer willing to operate the restaurant at that site. He noted the entire interior in the 70-seat restaurant was replaced after the 2008 flood.

The operator of five McDonald’s restaurant — Gilman, Rantoul, Champaign-Urbana and Kentland, Ind., as well as Watseka — Jarosh said once a site is agreed upon, it takes three to four months to have a new restaurant ready.

“We don’t have a timeline yet, but we’d like it to be sooner rather than later.”

Jarosh was not ready to give up on Watseka’s west side.

“That side of town still has a lot of viability. It just a matter of finding the right spot,” he said. “... But we had to move the store. We had to get out of the flood zone.”

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