Dinkytown McDonald’s could get major remodel

The exterior of the decades-old Dinkytown business would get a major revamp if plans move forward.

A rendering shows the planned exterior renovation of the Dinkytown McDonalds.

Courtesy of Chris Lautenschlager

A rendering shows the planned exterior renovation of the Dinkytown McDonald’s.

by J.D. Duggan

A decades-old Dinkytown business could get a major facelift.

The neighborhood’s McDonald’s, built in 1962, is looking to remodel its aging exterior, add another drive-thru order point and push toward compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards by improving accessibility to the building from the 15th Avenue Southeast entrance.

Plans for the proposed renovation were presented to the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association’s Land Use Committee on April 3. The suggested improvements will be presented to the Minneapolis City Planning Commission on Monday. The timeline on the renovation is still unclear.

Jon Larson, McDonald’s area supervisor, said the remodel will result in an “arcade-style building.”

“It’s just a change to conform with all the other McDonald’s,” he said.

While the building will remain the same structurally, the exterior will be composed of brick, tile, metal fascia and aluminum styling elements, which will considerably alter the appearance, Kevin Shay of Landform Professional Services, LLC, the engineers for the project, said at the MHNA committee meeting.

The second ordering point, which Larson referred to as a “tandem drive-thru,” is meant to improve efficiency with current order demands and possible increases in the future.

“When you’re able to take two orders at the same time, you can push more cars through,” Larson said.

MHNA members raised concerns at the meeting about adding vehicular traffic to an already-active intersection of Dinkytown.

Shay and Larson both emphasized that the drive-thru won’t impact area traffic.

“[Traffic] shouldn’t increase, other than what we currently get through there now. It will be more efficient. In time, that should allow more cars to come through the drive thru,” Larson said.

Marcus Mills, a member of MNHA’s executive board and 17-year resident of the neighborhood, expressed his approval of the building reaching ADA compliance, though he raised some concerns about the restaurant shutting down during remodeling.

Mills said if McDonald’s shuts down temporarily, it could impact how many people frequent the neighborhood.

“I and many of the residents of Marcy-Holmes, who care about diversity and inclusion, really like having more contact points where students come out into the neighborhoods and have a chance to interact with people,” he said.

Mills said he does not expect the renovation to cause traffic disruptions since the drive-thru feeds back into the parking lot.

“I think there will be an extension of the drive thru out into the fifth street traffic … but that’s only if this remodel manages great popularity,” he said. “Which, again, since the student population is finding more of their services on campus, is potentially less likely.”