The grand opening of the new Elm Street McDonald’s on Thursday morning was a spirited, well-attended event that celebrated not only the beginning of a new restaurant, but also the people of the Washington C.H. community.
Dan Roberts, retired superintendent of Miami Trace Local Schools and current member of the Fayette County Board of Elections, emceed the ceremony that took place right outside of the new McDonald’s, which opened to the public Thursday.
“We welcome you today to this wonderful event,” said Roberts, who is a close friend with the owner and operator of the McDonald’s restaurants of Fayette County, Nick Epifano. “It’s always awesome to see the community, to see the students and former students come out, and just have a great time and celebrate Washington Court House, Ohio.”
The new structure is replacing the McDonald’s building that was a fixture on Elm Street since 1974. The tear-down of the old building occurred May 17.
The Washington High School marching band and Fayette Christian School choir performed at the event. Ed Helt from the American Legion led the Pledge of Allegiance, and the Post 25 American Legion Honor Guard presented the colors. Tony Garren, the pastor from Fayette Christian School, led the large crowd in prayer.
Roberts also introduced the many public officials and special guests who were in attendance.
“Three times in the last five years we’ve been here to celebrate the reopening of the Fayette County McDonald’s restaurants,” Roberts said. “All of them have been strategically placed for our convenience and for travelers going near and far. The familiar sight of the golden arches is something we can count on. It is a welcoming beacon for consistently great tasting food, safe use, clean restrooms and the connecting of friends. ‘Everyone has a piece of McDonald’s in them’…..so says the owner and operator of this restaurant, Mr. Nick Epifano.”
Before introducing him, Roberts said, “Nick Epifano is a wonderful role model of the American success story. He is a determined entrepreneur, he cares first about those he serves and those he serves with. Nick has surrounded himself with good people and good product. This new store is a tribute to that desire to create a very nice customer atmosphere and serve food a customer wants to eat.”
Roberts also detailed some of the latest equipment and technology this new McDonald’s possesses.
“The technology in this state-of-the-art facility is nothing short of amazing,” he said. “From the cookers and fryers, to the drink machines that pour exact amounts, to conveyor belts that now will whisk your sandwich down the line so they can give it to you more quickly, this is a fascinating place for you to watch how your McDonald’s food is prepared.”
Epifano thanked a number of people in is life, professionally and personally.
“First of all, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior for all He’s given to my family. Without Him, none of this would be possible,” Epifano said. “I’d like to thank my wife, Karen. She’s the best wife a man could have, the best mother our children could have.”
Epifano also thanked his children, Nicholas and Luisa.
Keith Tooill, a key contributor to the success of the local McDonald’s restaurants, was also singled out for his tireless efforts.
“He’s our right hand man, Mr. everything,” said Epifano. “It doesn’t matter what time it is, what time of the day, he’s always there for us.”
Epifano also took time to thank all of the employees and managers, as well as the great customer base in this community. He also thanked Roberts, who he called a “special man,” for his friendship.
As the ceremony came to a close, Epifano said, “Let’s cut this ribbon, get this new restaurant open, and start the next generation of McDonald’s on Elm Street.”
A large group of dignitaries participated in the cutting of a ribbon that consisted of McDonald’s french fry boxes.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica