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A truly grand opening

December 22, 2010 - When it comes to the fast food game, there are more choices now than there's ever been.

But judging by the reception Oxford gave it, McDonald's is still the undisputed king of the hamburger business.

On Dec. 17, Oxford's new McDonald's restaurant officially opened for business with so much fanfare one would have thought a new battleship was being christened.

"Both the interior and the outside of the store look very nice," said owner Jack McMahon. "I just hope we live up to our press notices."

The new restaurant, which features dual drive-through lanes, is located on the west side of M-24, south of Ray Rd. and north of Market St.

"I have waited for this day for a long time and I'm just thrilled to have it," said Oxford store manager Joan Halsted, who's been with McDonald's since 1976 and won two Ray Kroc awards.

The old McDonald's at 280 N. Washington St. was demolished last week after approximately 30 years of service to Oxford.

"It's the same crew; we just moved to a new location," Halsted noted.

Members of the Oxford Wildcats varsity football team were on hand to help raise a massive American flag in front of the new restaurant. They were joined by veterans from American Legion Post 108.

OHS choir students performed the National Anthem followed by a few holiday tunes.

"This was more than I could have ever anticipated or hoped for," said Halsted, referring to the ceremony. "It's so neat to have the community here. I'm speechless."

McMahon cut the ceremonial ribbon with members of his management team and the one and only Ronald McDonald.

McMahon expects to see increased business at the new location, especially from morning commuters headed south on M-24.

"This is the breakfast side of the road," he said.

"I think with the double drive-through system, we'll be able to wait on people twice as fast," Halsted added.

McDonald's and McMahon have enjoyed a long relationship. It all started with McMahon's mother working as Ray Kroc's secretary. Kroc built the McDonald's empire.

The McMahon family opened their first McDonald's on Perry St. in Pontiac in 1960.

"My dad, my mother and myself ran the business together," he said.

Today, McMahon owns McDonald's restaurants in Oxford, Lake Orion and Auburn Hills by Great Lakes Crossing.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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