Later this month, June 26 to be specific, the local McDonald’s restaurant in Nevada will begin an $800,000 interior and exterior remodeling and updating project.


Owner Jim Baker, of Ames, was in Nevada last Friday to talk about the project, which will be similar to the one going on at the Story City McDonald’s, which Baker and his wife, Karen, also own.


On the inside, Baker said, the project will include “all new seating, ceilings and flooring.” But perhaps the most exciting change inside will be the addition of a new ordering kiosk, which Baker describes as being “like an oversized iPhone.” Baker said customers can still order the old fashioned way, but for those who like technology and don’t like to wait in line at the counter, the kiosk will allow them to punch in what they want and pay for it, all through new technology.


In addition, the Nevada McDonald’s will also be able to allow use of a new mobile app through your cell phone, where you can punch up an order and have it ready — at a curbside pickup stall — when you get to McDonald’s.


The exterior of the local McDonald’s will be redone to the point where, Baker said, “it will look like a new store.” He said it will be similar to the one on Duff Avenue in Ames, which he and his wife also own. In fact, the couple owns three McDonald’s in Ames (on Duff, west Ames and the one inside Wal-Mart), the store in Boone and one in Carroll. They have seven total stores when you add in Story City and Nevada.


Baker said the store in Nevada is 20 years old and the remodeling is something that is being pushed by McDonald’s on a national basis. He’s more than willing to make the investment in Nevada, because business at the local store, he said, “is on the upswing.” He smiles about how great business has been with all the activities at the SCORE park.


During the estimated 90-day remodel/update project (expected to be completed by late September), Baker said the store will still be open. “In the lobby we will put up temporary walls … It will look like a church potluck dinner-type thing for awhile,” he said. But the finished project will be something wonderful for the community and the staff at Nevada’s McDonald’s, which Baker compliments as a good group of workers.


Baker’s history with McDonald’s goes back 44 years. He worked as a corporate accountant for McDonald’s first, and in 1986, he bought his first store in Indiana. He and his wife were there five years, then returned to Iowa, which is Jim’s home state; he’s a native of Mt. Pleasant. They purchased their first Iowa store in Des Moines in 1991, he said.


Baker is excited about the changes that are soon to happen at the Nevada McDonald’s. “It’s going to have a real fresh look to it.” As for the new technology, he said McDonald’s will provide employees out by the kiosk to help customers at first, so they can learn how it works.


The only drawback of all this, he said with a chuckle, is that “the morning coffee group may have to find new seats for a little while.”