The Golden Arches have left Pelican Rapids, Minn., and residents aren’t lovin’ it.
McDonald’s closed its restaurant in this Otter Tail County resort town last week, taking down its landmark signs and hauling them away on a flatbed truck.
“It leaves you with a hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach,” said Mayor Brent Frazier. “In a big city, when a McDonald’s leaves, it might not even be missed. But in a small community, it leaves a hole.”
It had been 10 years since the fast-food giant opened a franchise, making this city of 2,500 residents 200 miles northwest of the Twin Cities one of the smallest in the state to land a McDonald’s. And it was a point of pride with the locals.
“I often had people from other communities comment to me, ‘How did you ever get a McDonald’s in Pelican Rapids, anyway?’ ” Frazier said.
McDonald’s wouldn’t comment Wednesday on the reasons for the closing. Media reports said McDonald’s and the building owner couldn’t reach agreement on a new lease.
“McDonald’s reviews its restaurant portfolio on a regular basis to make the best decision for our business moving forward,” the company said in a statement. “We are thankful to the hardworking restaurant team in Pelican Rapids who provided years of service, as well as the local community for their patronage.”
The loss of McDonald’s could mean more business for local eateries like the Muddy Moose, Escobar’s and the Screaming Eagle. But sometimes a person just gets a hankering for Mickey D’s.
“There are a lot of good places to eat in Pelican Rapids, but it’s always nice to have a little variety,” said Susan Strand, who works at City Hall. “I will miss it.”