The new McDonald's on Ringgold Road in East Ridge goes through a few final touches before its grand opening. Photo by Erin O. Smith/Times Free Press
EAST RIDGE (Times Free Press) - A lifetime of experience did little to ease the anticipation of Rob Goodwin Wednesday as fire inspectors performed their final walkthroughs and contractors put the finishing touches on a modernized McDonald's that he hopes will double its business.
On Jan. 6, Goodwin's 28-year-old McDonald's restaurant on Ringgold Road in East Ridge -- one of nine he owns in the area -- featured seating for less than 50 people.
Now, less than 100 days later, it has been torn down and rebuilt with more than double the seating, double the drive-through lanes and a few special touches that he hopes will set it apart on a stretch of road bustling with fast food options. The expanded 110-seat restaurant opens today.
"I hope people show," said Goodwin, who started working at the East Ridge McDonald's as teenager in the 1970s when it was down the street. "This is my community. I went to East Ridge Elementary, East Ridge Junior High and East Ridge High School. I was born and raised in this town. This community is very near to my heart."