Golden arches coming to Mercersburg

January 17, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Golden arches are finally going to become part of the Mercersburg setting, replacing a landmark business located just outside of the borough in Peters Township.

A McDonald's fast-food restaurant is expected to occupy the land at 396 N. Main St., just over the Mercersburg Borough line where the Bob & Mickey department store has been for the past 21 years, said Bob Brindle, co-owner of the store with his wife, Mickey. The plans come two years after a proposed McDonald's in the historic downtown failed to materialize.

"We've entered into a lease agreement," said Jody Dixon, real estate representative for McDonald's. "We're just going through the preliminary stages right now."


An opening date has not been determined yet, Dixon said.

Brindle's son, Steve, who has been handling the negotiations with the fast-food chain, said he couldn't comment on the agreement with McDonald's. He did confirm the family's department store is moving to a new location in the spring. He said the new store will be established about 100 yards from the present address. Brindle said he doesn't expect any down time during the move. The store - known mostly for its hunting supplies but that also stocks hardware, clothing, and home improvement items - will carry the same products, Brindle said.

"The store is going to stay the same. We're going to upgrade with computers and restructure that way," he said.

The existing building will likely be torn down and McDonald's will lease the land, said Bob Brindle. Moving to the new Bob & Mickey's location will provide the opportunity to try out some new ideas and enhance the business, he said.

The Brindle's opened their first store 30 years ago in Mercersburg square and moved to the present address in 1976.

Local restaurant owner Dave Baker, who operates the Main Street Cafe and Fox's Pizza Den on North Main Street, said he's a little concerned that McDonald's may take some of his business away. But he said he's not opposed to the competition.

"Competition is always great. It keeps everyone on the ball," Baker said, who's been in business for eight years.

Catalin Bonciu, owner of the James Buchanan Restaurant and Pub on 15 N. Main St., said he welcomes the fast-food restaurant because it means growth for the town. He said he doesn't feel threatened by McDonald's since his restaurant offers a completely different menu.

"To be very honest, I'm all for business. It's very good. McDonald's isn't bad competition," Bonciu said.

Some, however, don't want McDonald's. Alan Stoner, a dairy farmer who lives about a mile outside of Mercersburg, said he is opposed to the fast-food restaurant setting up business in the small, historic town. He said he's worried garbage from the restaurant will end up on the sides of roads and an "unsightly" McDonald's sign will obscure his view of the Mercersburg Academy Chapel and take away from the town's charm.

"How many more McDonald's do we need in "It doesn't do anything for the community."

McDonald's has restaurants in McConnellsburg, Greencastle, Waynesboro, and three in Chambersburg.

The fast-food chain tried unsuccessfully to establish a restaurant in Mercersburg about two years ago, according to Borough Manager Judy Chambers. McDonald's did not receive a warm welcome from residents, particularly from members of the Historical Review Board, she said.

At the time, McDonald's was planning to tear down a large, old home on North Main Street within the borough's limits next to the Mercersburg Diner. But restaurant officials couldn't acquire the land that was needed to construct the building and drive-thru and the plans fell through, Chambers said.

Betty Stenger, chairman of the Mercersburg Historical Review Board, said she doesn't think there is much opposition to the fast-food restaurant since it will be outside the borough's limits.

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