By Brad Bowman
McDonald’s franchise owner George Saliba gave an update to Eminence City Council members about the new McDonald’s, which broke ground Monday on Main Street in Eminence.
The store will open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week and 12 a.m. on Saturdays. Saliba said the store will hire a 55 to 60 person crew, which will include 10 managers. Some employees from the Pendleton store, Henry County residents, will move to the new location.
The new store will be the first of its kind ever built with accommodations and furnishings styled specifically to Eminence.
“The historical pictures of Eminence will be imbedded in the wallpaper,” Saliba said. “People will be able to their kids the importance of the buildings. I want to people to stop by there and see the heritage of Eminence.”
Saliba said in his presentation to the council that he wants to put Eminence on the map with the unique store. He has received phone calls from McDonald’s home office who wants to train managers for other locations in the store.
“Every young man and woman that comes to work for me, I will think of them as my own son and daughter,” Saliba said. “I want them to have a good first impression, a good first job when they come to us. Many will go to college and go on to be doctors and lawyers, and I want them to learn at McDonald’s to be responsible, to be on time and how to smile, work with other people and be a team player.”
Saliba will have a grand opening ceremony with a flag raising. Saliba said it is very important for him as an immigrant to have the flag raising, as well as, working with the community.
“It is important for me to work with the community. You have a good school, you have a good fire department and a good police department,” Saliba said. “I think that is a good foundation for every city and potential for growth. I would love to be able to go to the school and tell my story and tell children this is the land of opportunity, that I came here not speaking a word of English. That you can accomplish things and fulfill your dreams.”
Taking in to consideration the unpredictable weather conditions, Saliba hopes to open the Eminence McDonald’s by May 10.
Mayor Drane Stephens reported in his mayor’s update another new development: The Eminence Apothecary, a pharmacy he will run once construction and remodeling is finished.
The renovations at the old Mexican restaurant on Main Street will include two drive- through windows. The services will include flu shot clinics and diabetes care custom-tailored to individual patient needs.
“It will be at t the old Joe Rucker alcohol place. I will be running that. I’m very excited about it. It’s a great, new opportunity for me,” Stephens said. “I’m glad to be back in Eminence everyday, all day. We will focus on small town atmosphere and service. There is enough business here for CVS and us.”
The new pharmacy will also offer prescription delivery, will accept Medicaid and all forms of insurance with an anticipated opening date of April 1, according to Stephens.
“We will stone-up the front. We may not have all of it finished because of weather,” Stephens said. “I knew when I left the independent pharmacy at Cook’s, it didn’t take me long to realize, I didn’t do the right thing. I always said when the right opportunity came to Eminence I would take it.”