McDonald's to leave the skyways in both downtowns

Categories: Fast Food

BigMacStP.jpg
Jo.Sau

Somebody should buy Ronald McDonald a drink.

The Golden Arches, having just left downtown Minneapolis in October, will officially vacate the skyways of St. Paul on Wednesday.

See also:
Downtown Minneapolis McDonald's will close

Pigs-eye downtowners looking for a McChicken fix will soon find the doors closed at both of the chain's downtown locations in the capital city -- one within the Securian Center and the other in the Alliance Center. The number of Mickey D's in St. Paul's urban core has been dwindling ever since the Wells Fargo Place location shuttered last year.

While McDonald's could not be reached for comment, there's some speculation that the Securian location could be replaced by the company's new, Starbucks-esque McCafe concept, currently being unrolled in Canada. The Alliance Center location will likely return to local control, however, as Scott Johnson, owner of the Nectary deli, has put in a bid to lease the space for a new restaurant called the Skyway Grille.

"One of the reasons the McDonald's down here closed was that they weren't a full store," Johnson says. "They didn't have the dollar menu, or have nights and weekends, so I think Big McDonald's kind of pushed their hand in closing up these type of franchises."

Johnson says he was in talks with the Alliance Center management to expand his current restaurant when the news that McDonald's would be leaving changed his mind. The opportunity to fill a gap in the skyway market was too good to pass up.

"The opportunity just kind of fell in my lap," Johnson explains. "Someone needs to sell a good burger in downtown St. Paul for a fast-food type lunch."

Unlike the previous tenants, Skyway Grille will be a full-menu restaurant with hand-made, quarter pound patties and fresh-cut fries, but Johnson hopes to have a scalable menu to capture some of the smaller ticket prices McDonalds is known for.

"I'll probably have an entry-level, basic cheeseburger for around a 5 dollar price point," Johnson says of the Skyway Grille's menu. "A-la-carte fries for a buck, drinks for a buck, that kind of thing."

Johnson also plans to offer several specialty burgers at a higher price, with toppings such as jalapeno and bacon, in case a basic cheeseburger just won't cut it. The Skyway Grille has a projected opening date of March 2014, but in the meantime Downtown St. Paulites can hang with old standbys like Mickey's Diner.

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23 comments
Jesse Spalding
Jesse Spalding

Meanwhile, they're back in the airport again. Anyone ever get pissed off about how much paper they waste with a combo meal? It's like I'm spending more money on the packaging than the product itself!

Gael Genevieve
Gael Genevieve

Dearest CityPages FYI the last day for mcdonalds in Saint Paul skyway was last Wednesday.

Richard Schuster
Richard Schuster

Please let the hospital know. They say they have a million year lease, or something like that, but McDonalds wouldn't be there if enough people complained.

James Cowart
James Cowart

this one bugged me the most, i walk out of the heart unit and to the outside and boom whack donalds

Richard Schuster
Richard Schuster

Next, get them out of Abbott Northwestern, across from The Heart Hospital!

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

I wouldn't want to be in the skyway restaurant business in 2013. I'm not surprised the clown has bowed out. Who wants to be the last rat on the sinking ship?

Derek Kosky
Derek Kosky

oh well, we never ate there they just enjoyed sitting on the bench. Come to think of it, all the times I've walked past there I never saw anyone eating there.

Amy Reichel
Amy Reichel

Why are people happy about this? Job loss is a good thing? Oh you don't like McDonald's? Don't eat it then! No one is forcing you!

Derek Kosky
Derek Kosky

can they leave the bench there at the skyway near the Childrens' museum? my kids enjoy having their photo next to the scary clown.

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours

@Jesse Spalding Nobody here would admit to eating at a Mickey D's, much less confess to liking a Big Mac. It would hurt their hipster cred. #TweetsAreYours

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@James Cowart Then order a salad.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Christian Johnson I'm sure many things in life are beyond you.

dan038
dan038

@Derek Kosky that McDonalds closed almost 2 years ago.  Bench is long gone.

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