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Renovated Thornwood McDonald's Draws Mixed Reviews

Mount Pleasant-area children -- and their parents -- were not pleased to learn that the newly-renovated McDonald's in Thornwood removed the highly-popular children's play area along Marble Avenue. This is where it was before the recent "upgrade."
Mount Pleasant-area children -- and their parents -- were not pleased to learn that the newly-renovated McDonald's in Thornwood removed the highly-popular children's play area along Marble Avenue. This is where it was before the recent "upgrade." Photo Credit: Jon Craig
Big brother? A McDonald's employee assists a customer at the new automated kiosks in Thornwood -- aimed at speeding service. It took 12 steps to order one meal Monday, and even the worker confided "it's not customer-friendly."
Big brother? A McDonald's employee assists a customer at the new automated kiosks in Thornwood -- aimed at speeding service. It took 12 steps to order one meal Monday, and even the worker confided "it's not customer-friendly." Photo Credit: Jon Craig
The "new" McDonald's at 60o Marble Ave. in Thornwood is modern but customers complained it is sterile and no longer intimate.
The "new" McDonald's at 60o Marble Ave. in Thornwood is modern but customers complained it is sterile and no longer intimate. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

Change is good, right?

Some McDonald's customers didn't feel that way as they arrived at the newly renovated McDonald's at 600 Marble Ave. in Thornwood on Monday.

The Thornwood McDonald's also removed the highly-popular children's play area during a two-month "modernization" project.

The restaurant has added extra disabled parking spots that crowd parking outside and, in general, is more sterile and less intimate inside, according to multiple customers who talked to Daily Voice.

This reporter tried to order a bagel, egg and bacon meal, but due to the multiple links on the new self-service kiosks, it took about 12 steps -- even with assistance from a McDonald's employee.

"We don't like it," the worker said. "We're older, too, and it's not efficient."

When the food order was delivered to a numbered table -- another new change -- they had forgotten the coffee. Two employees apologized, but Monday's experience was definitely less efficient than numerous visits to the same "former" McDonald's.

The 45-year-old McDonald's restaurant in Thornwood reopened on Friday, Nov. 3 after a months-long renovation project.

Separately, a grand reopening of the McDonald's at the Blue Mountain Center at Welcher Ave. in Peekskill is set for Tuesday, Nov. 7, according to a McDonald's spokeswoman. More details on Peekskill's 10 a.m. reopening ceremony can be found by clicking here.

The Thornwood McDonald's was among the franchise's first to open nationwide nearly a half-century ago. It is a popular stop for motorists traveling along the Saw Mill River Parkway.

In August, the Marble Avenue restaurant began renovations with a "soft closing" in which there was limited indoor access and then drive-through-only service.

The interior is definitely more sterile, cold and vacuous looking than the former restaurant.

Amanda Pisano, a corporate McDonald's spokeswoman, said both locations feature a modern restaurant experience "that offers guests an enhanced level of choice, engagement and service."

The New York Metro region has renovated and "modern'ized" more than 150 of the region’s 565 restaurants.

Good news: Some McDonald's remain the same including the ones off of Route 1 (Boston Post Road) in Mamaroneck and Port Chester.

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