Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Former McDonalds - Lake Wales, FL

In addition to the ailing Eagle Ridge Mall, Lake Wales is home to another retail oddity: a rare closed McDonalds!

McDonalds doesn't close often, and many times the properties are quickly scooped up by other operators when they do, so one sitting vacant is uncommon.

This McDonalds is located in a kind of awkward outparcel, and is also, as seen here, on a weirdly steep little hill. Look at all those awful gouges in the street- I'm really not sure why this little spot wasn't just lowered.

This location had been vacant for about 5-6 years when I came by to photograph it in 2020. It last shows as open in a 2013 streetview, and as totally shuttered in 2015. McDonald's bought the land for their replacement restaurant, up the road at 1978 FL-60, in 2014, so this location likely closed not long after.

For reference, that location was built on the site of a local car wash. This location was built in 1989, and likely last remodeled around 2002.

Like most closed locations, an effort was made to "de-brand" this location, covering up the bright red mansard roof with this gray and drab one you see here. This is common with closed locations, and is done because McDonalds considers the mansard roof as part of their brand.

A tiny bit of red can be seen here, but I think it's some kind of framing, not the old roof, as it doesn't match at all, it's just slats.

Gotta love that classic McDonalds brick. Hell of a crack in it, though, I hope there's no foundation issues at play.

I gotta wonder why the disabled parking spot seems to be one of the farthest away.

A better view of the back. I considered climbing the ladder, but I had places to be and no idea what shape the roof was in.

Weeds are starting to spring up in the cracks of the drive-thru lane.

And that's all I have for today, I hope you enjoyed! Lake Wales is an interesting place for retail, and I'd like to make my way out there again sometime soon.

Until next time, this has been Cape Kennedy Retail.


1 comment:

  1. There are certainly a lot of old McDonald's design elements which are still present at this building even in the sad state that it is in now. I wonder if this McDonald's would have had a playground. If it did, it was probably an outdoor one, but I'm not sure.

    You're certainly right that not many McDonald's sit around abandoned for too long. That's certainly accurate around here. We did have one McDonald's which relocated down the road in the late 1990s, but the old building was occupied rather quickly by an independent restaurant and then eventually one of those shady payday loan places which is what it is now. There was also a McDonald's which closed without replacement a few years in my area, but that closed due to the state needing the land for freeway expansion. In that case, the McDonald's was torn down pretty quickly after it closed. Given the lack of closures/relocations of traditional McDonald's locations, I think McDonald's must have a pretty good way of evaluating potential new sites for franchisees to determine which have the best long-term potential.