The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 12, 2014

Hundreds show up for McDonald’s opening

JEFFERSON — Carnival games, video dancing and food giveaways drew more than 200 people to the opening of a new McDonald’s restaurant on Route 46 on Friday evening.

“I’m happy that it is opening here so the kids have a place to buy a burger,” said Valerie Killeen whose son Benjamin, 13, started circling the area on his bicycle around 10 a.m.

People weren’t allowed to start standing in line until mid-afternoon.

Ellen Plats of Conneaut was the first official person in line to get free Big Mac sandwiches for a year. “I’ve been sitting across the street,” she said.

“I wanted to watch McDonald’s opening in Jefferson,” she said.

John and Michelle Perdue are the owners of the new restaurant and said they are excited about opening a restaurant in Ashtabula County.

The line of customers wound around the building with carefully placed yellow tape and an adjacent street was closed. The amusement areas were strategically placed in the parking lot for kids to enjoy.

John Perdue said the couple has nine other McDonald’s restaurants in Mahoning and Trumbull counties. He said they decided to have a carnival-like atmosphere to set a nice mood for the grand opening.

Michelle Perdue said she loves working with people. She said it is also fun to help people learn job skills. “You try to make a difference in people’s lives. For a lot of people this is their first job,” she said.

John Perdue said the couple try to give back to the communities in which they operate restaurants. He said the restaurant will employ 60 people and the couple’s daughter Kristen Perdue will be the restaurant supervisor.

Dalton Reese, 15, said he was excited about the new restaurant and getting free Big Mac sandwiches. “I wish every day,” he said of how often he would like to partake.

Reese said he wasn’t worried about gaining weight.  “I’ll work it off,” he said.

“I think it is going to be a wonderful thing for Jefferson,” said Darcy Jones as she took a picture of five of her grandchildren waiting in line.

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