WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Admiral McDonald’s makeover under way

(WSB photo)

Thanks for the tips about remodeling under way at the McDonald’s in Admiral (3003 California SW). This is the first week of a six-week overhaul, inside and out, owner/operator Alia Abboud told WSB during an interview at the restaurant this afternoon.

First – the drive-through is closed right now but the lobby is open (and if you don’t want to go in, you can still order via mobile – it’ll be brought out to you in the parking lot – or home/office delivery via Uber Eats). In a few weeks, depending on how things go, the partial closure will be reversed – the drive-through will reopen when the exterior work is done, and the lobby will close for a few weeks, Abboud told us.

If you’ve seen the recently rebuilt McDonald’s in White Center – this will be a lot like that, though this site is getting a remodel, not a rebuild. It’s part of the corporation’s Experience of the Future initiative, and will include a two-sided ordering kiosk inside, similar to these:

(Photo courtesy McDonald’s)

No, that won’t mean job cuts, says Abboud, who employs “close to 40 people” at this location – she says she’s actually adding people, so that there will be an employee to assist people with the kiosk. The seating area and restrooms will get “extensive” upgrades, too, as will the lighting – energy-saving conversion to LED, inside and out – and the menu boards for the drive-through. Since the site is small, it will continue to have a single drive-through lane, with no revision of traffic patterns planned.

“We hope the neighborhood will like it,” says Abboud, who also runs the Morgan Junction McDonald’s, which she says is in line for the overhaul within the next two years. Other aspects of the restaurant already have been evolving, not the least of which includes the chain’s move to use fresh beef, which, Abboud points out, required a change in various procedures. The modern-look remodel also will be accompanied by new uniforms, a “brand-new experience for everybody” – workers as well as customers.

McDonald’s regional media liaison tells WSB that 155 restaurants in the Pacific Northwest region (which also includes Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana) have upgraded to the Experience of the Future, and almost 200 more will do so before year’s end. Six of the overhauled locations are in the Seattle area.

31 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Admiral McDonald's makeover under way"

  • Vilagegrern April 13, 2018 (3:39 pm)

    Funny that the biggest news in West Seattle food is the remodeling of a McDonald’s. New buildings on almost every corner in the Junction and lining most of California between Alaska and Admiral, but no new decent restaurants. But hey, we got a new Domino’s! 

    • WSB April 13, 2018 (3:55 pm)

      I don’t know that it’s the “biggest news in West Seattle food” but it’s today’s only restaurant story. You can scroll through our archive http://westseattleblog.com/category/west-seattle-food/ to see what else we’ve published lately. Just nine days since the news of Mediterranean food going into the ex-B&R in Admiral. Got a lot more on the watch list but nothing imminent … maybe next week! – TR

    • yum April 13, 2018 (4:06 pm)

      We really like Srivilai Thai, not THAT new, but pretty recent & certainly decent.  It’s in the old Blackboard Bistro space, on California just north of Hinds.

      But yeah, new restaurants welcome!

    • The truth April 13, 2018 (4:15 pm)

      That was a ridiculous comment.  The WSB is commonly the best coverage of restaurant happenings and we have had a ton of great new places in the last 4 years.  I would venture to say we have a great restaurant scene here in WS that is only primed to get even better over the next 6 months.

  • waikikigirl April 13, 2018 (4:04 pm)

    @WSB…doesn’t matter what story you publish someone is going to find a rotten apple in it somehow…

    I think you all do a great job and some of the posts you post…do you ever get any sleep!? ;>)

  • The truth April 13, 2018 (4:11 pm)

    Once people get comfortable with the kiosk I would be shocked if those positions get backfilled down the road.  I respect a business owner doing what she needs to do to change with the times and the economics.  It is too bad small restaurants don’t have access to affordable self ordering systems like this.  Get ready for more chains and less small restaurants.  These kiosks are the canary in the coal mine.  Not blaming $15 min, property taxes, increased lease rates, increase business licenses, increased B&O taxes, Sugar taxes, paid sick leave, State FMLA, as any one contributor but a little bit of all of these are driving the push to automate.  Starter jobs are on there way to automation and critical after school jobs are going to dry up.  Sad that was how so many got their first training and job skills.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next generation.

    • Jon Wright April 13, 2018 (5:45 pm)

      McDonald’s is automating everywhere, regardless what the applicable minimum wage is.

    • yum April 13, 2018 (8:29 pm)

      I certainly prefer small restaurants to chains–rarely go to chains at all, so I agree with your worry.  But honestly the situation doesn’t seem that dire…  I mean, we have so many lovely small restaurants to choose from in West Seattle, and more of them opening all the time.  

      Sure you can say wait and see, the sky will be falling five (or however many) years from now, but the worry seems a bit premature, at least for our neck of the woods.

  • Bridgetta April 13, 2018 (4:23 pm)

    As a neighbor of this McDonalds, I am glad to know what is going down around the block and thankful they are not expanding! If the owner, Ms Abboud, is truly hoping to please the neighborhood, she would do well to reduce the early morning noise pollution at the restaurant. (6 a.m. deliveries, the loud outdoor ordering speaker, and a monthly middle-of-the-night truck that cleans out the grease traps.)

  • newnative April 13, 2018 (4:47 pm)

    We have a ton of new and old restaurants and they all get reported on when they open, when they celebrate and when they close. Because that’s what West Seattleites want to know. “No new decent”? I wonder what standard you’re using? 

  • Starsky April 13, 2018 (5:09 pm)

    Wsb dose great work!

  • MJ April 13, 2018 (5:46 pm)

    And do not forget the new Pizza Burger, kidding, that is be on the menu

  • Chris April 13, 2018 (5:52 pm)

    Trying to understand the kiosk.   Are all orders placed there now, or will there still be a counter to go to to place orders.   Thanks

    • WSB April 13, 2018 (7:01 pm)

      Yes, there will still be a counter, with workers there, the owner said.

    • Sunuva April 13, 2018 (8:18 pm)

      They had these kiosks at a McDonald’s we visited in Honolulu a few weeks ago. We used them just for our quick order of Taro pies. Worked great for us but there were still more people ordering from the counter than using the kiosks.

  • just wondering April 13, 2018 (6:30 pm)

    I have found the staff courteous and pleasant! 

    I always appreciate a smile!

  • Morgan April 13, 2018 (7:50 pm)

    Please Ms. Abboud: remodel your chain link fence and weedy sidewalk and uncared for trees at Morgan Junction. Thank you.

  • JVP April 13, 2018 (8:29 pm)

    Great, now they can more efficiently give all kids at W Seattle High diabetes. 

    • Mickey D April 13, 2018 (9:05 pm)

      Parents need to learn how to cook  and pack their kids a healthy lunch.

      • WSB April 13, 2018 (9:23 pm)

        Look on the bright side – they get to stretch their legs by walking across the street. Although in all seriousness, I think half the WSHS student body goes to Nikko Teriyaki at Jefferson Square. Every time we pick up lunch there, it’s deluged by students getting the lunch-bowl special.

    • yum April 13, 2018 (9:35 pm)

      If it’s any consolation we always saw a fair number of kids at PCC of all places for lunch.  Of course it’s gone for now, but still, not all is lost!

    • Rob April 14, 2018 (10:06 am)

      Yeah because there aren’t a couple hundred kids each school day over at Admiral Safeway robbing it blind of candy, doughnuts, soda, etc. I’m sure McDonalds is at fault for those food choices too.

    • West Seattle since 1979 April 14, 2018 (10:17 pm)

      According to a Seattle nostalgia site on Facebook, there used to be something called Zesto’s Burgers in that space in the 1960s or 1970s, and the West Seattle High kids of that era used to flock there for lunch. So I don’t know if things were that much better back then.

      • JanS April 16, 2018 (1:51 pm)

        according to my ex, who graduated WSHS in 1970, Zesto’s was the best !  And down Calif. a bit was Penny’s Dog House…a walk up ice cream joint, etc (does anyone know if they had burgers? I didn’t live here then)…I think it was located where the Charlestown Cafe  was eventually built…now  modernized into townhouses, and businesses like Domino’s Pizza

  • David April 14, 2018 (6:59 am)

    I hope that the drive through is also automated as I cannot understand most of the people on the low quality intercom system. I also hope that they put a second menu up so that I can read it before I get to the ordering location.

    • JanS April 16, 2018 (1:52 pm)

      David, thank you…from your mouth to God’s ears !

  • Lisa April 14, 2018 (10:49 am)

    I wish “Experience of the Future” meant healthier food. If you’re an adult still eating at McDonalds given all we know about fast food…well, Darwin.

    • JanS April 16, 2018 (1:53 pm)

      Dear Lisa…moderation in everything…don’t judge

  • Lisa M April 14, 2018 (10:00 pm)

    It looks like a second story is being added, any info on that?

    • WSB April 14, 2018 (10:15 pm)

      They’re doing roof/exterior work but no addition. The site plan on file verifies same amount of restaurant space (if anything, there will be a little less interior space for seating, the operator told me, as the kiosks will take up some room). If you follow the link to our coverage of the White Center rebuild, you’ll see the exterior of the “experience of the future” stores gets away from the old mansard-roof look.

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