Grand opening of new Ithaca McDonald’s features American Legion flag display, free coffee for vets

Ithaca had one of New York State’s oldest McDonald’s restaurants, which closed last summer for a complete rebuild on the same Elmira Road lot. The new restaurant celebrates this week with a grand opening ceremony on Thursday that features a flag display by Ithaca’s American Legion post, free coffee for all veterans, and food and drink specials.

Ithaca’s brand new McDonald’s nears completion last month. 14850 Photo by Mark H. Anbinder

The Cayuga Group, which owns a half dozen McDonald’s franchises in Central New York and the Southern Tier, considered renovating the decades-old building, but ultimately decided to start from scratch with a brand new structure. Ronald McDonald attended a special Kids Holiday Celebration at the end of December, for the first event at the new restaurant.

Owner Courtney Feehan says the complete rebuild will better serve employees and customers. “I strive to make our McDonald’s restaurant a place where all families feel welcome, and have a great experience that fits their busy schedules,” she says. “Whether it’s coming in for a Happy Meal after sports practice or going through the drive-through for a hot breakfast in the morning, our menu and location serves every family.”

Ithaca’s McDonald’s had already been renovated and expanded since its early days. This 1968 photo is courtesy of Michael Cairns.

The same group owns the McDonald’s franchise on North Triphammer Road in the Village of Lansing. For that location, the owners built a brand new restaurant on a larger lot across the road from the original restaurant. The previous McDonald’s is now virtually unrecognizable as a real estate office.

Feehan says she’s “proud to have such a great crew of employees who also make up an important part of not only the restaurant, but the community as well.”

This week’s grand opening is Thursday, January 4th, from 3:30-5pm, at the new restaurant at 372 Elmira Road, Route 13 in Ithaca’s southwest.

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