New McDonald's to include Berks' first indoor PlayPlace

Being billed as 'flagship' for Philadelphia region

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - One McDonald's in Berks County is about to be replaced by another, and the new restaurant will be unlike any other McDonald's in the Reading area.

The new McDonald's, billed as a "flagship" for the fast-food chain's Philadelphia region, will replace one that has long stood in the 400 block of Elizabeth Avenue in Muhlenberg Township.

The footprint, however, will be a bit different. The franchise owners are in the process of buying the adjacent site of the former Hess gas station at North Fifth Street Highway and Elizabeth Avenue, which will be combined with their current property, according to township officials.

The new McDonald's, they said, will occupy approximately two-thirds of the gas station site, which has been vacant for the past few years.

Demolition of the old McDonald's is set to begin after the owners close on the adjacent property in early April. The new McDonald's is expected to open within 60 days of demolition getting underway, officials said.

While many of the 15 McDonald's restaurants in Berks County have been rebuilt or remodeled in recent years, this will be the first to provide young customers with an indoor PlayPlace of the modern-day design. It promises to be much different than the small playroom their parents may recall having enjoyed at the franchise owners' restaurant in St. Lawrence more than two decades ago. (Have pictures? Share them here.)

It will also follow the company's growing trend of having two drive-thru lanes for customers on the go.

McDonald's other restaurant in Muhlenberg Township is among those that recently underwent a significant remodel.

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