Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 6:24 PM on Wednesday, February 22, 2012

McDonald's celebrates new look

Staff report


Photo by Shawn Biessel, Homer News

A crowd enjoys the Saturday grand re-opening celebration of the Homer McDonald's. The event was a chance to see the restaurant's newly remodeled dining room and enjoy free cookies, samples of the new McCafe beverages and free Wi-Fi. The remodeling showcases the work of three Homer artists: Erik Behnke, Lynn Marie Naden and Taz Tally.

The community on Saturday joined Scott and Dena Cunningham, owners of the Homer McDonald's, to celebrate a new remodel of the Homer location.

"We had just put in the new McCafe line of espresso beverages in June and with that, there's some remodeling that comes to the front counter, so we took the opportunity to revamp the whole inside," said Dena Cunningham.

"It's new, has a fresh, modern look. It's very cool, very young."

Bright colors have been incorporated into the interior, half-walls have been removed to make the dining area more spacious, and the artwork has been updated.

"It was a great day, a great opportunity for Scott and me to see some people we haven't seen in awhile," said Cunningham of Saturday's celebration, which gave a nod to the 20-years the Cunninghams have owned the Homer location.

Work on the remodel was done by Steiner's North Star Construction of Homer.

"They did a fabulous job," said Cunningham.

Interior décor work was done by FCC, a McDonald's-approved Oregon company. New artwork came from the creative talents of three Homer artists.

"I told (McDonald's) I wanted to go with something very specific, pursue Homer artists and they turned it over to me. We could not be happier," said Cunningham.

She called upon the assistance of Karin Marks of Art Shop Gallery, visited other Homer galleries and chose photographs by Taz Tally, the artwork of Erik Behnke for the children's area and soon-to-be-finished work by Lynn Marie Naden.

The Cunninghams, who also own McDonald's in Soldotna and Kenai, have Connie Baz as the Homer store manager.

"She actually has 10 years McDonald's experience and a year and a half with us. She's great for the store, is very community minded and brings a level of maturity to the restaurant that we like to have," said Cunningham.

The rest of the crew in Homer currently numbers 40, but will be increased to 60-65 during the busy summer months, many of them working part-time.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.