By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Elvis fans might have to put the newest McDonald’s restaurant in Tupelo on their places to visit.
On the corner of South Gloster and President streets, the restaurant officially opened on Wednesday. It replaces the location near Crosstown, which had opened in 1973.
With a throwback look on the outside, the restaurant sports a huge 1950s-design golden arches on the building facade.
The interior blends a bit of the 1950s with a lot of the 21st century. A pair of etched-glass Elvis portraits don the walls, complemented by contemporary lighting and seating.
A curved “wall” with a timeline and images and key events in Elvis’ life is another conversation piece that attracts attention.
“This restaurant is our showpiece,” said Rob Hudson, president of Hudson Management and owner/operator of the McDonald’s restaurants in Tupelo, New Albany and Saltillo.
A guitar decorated with Elvis memorabilia is displayed in the middle of the dining area, where tables are decorated with vases and flowers.
“My wife and I bought the guitar at the GumTree Festival years ago and held onto it, thinking we’d eventually get to use it somewhere,” Hudson said.
The restaurant opened ahead of schedule. Ground was broken on the site in late June, with a mid-September opening planned.
“We were contracted for 115 days, but they gave it to us in 73 days,” Hudson said. “Everything went smoothly.”
The 4,000-square-foot restaurant employs about 100.
Its double drive-through – a first in Tupelo – is open 24 hours a day.