McDonald’s enters the MCC food fray
Josh Caswell, Special to the Live Wire
The Cougar Café is not the only place MCC students can get a bite to eat near the campus anymore. Over the summer, the site where the new McDonald’s formerly exists at 184-188 Spencer Street was a former home of a Manchester resident, Sharon Miller. Miller’s former house was demolished, leaving the site with only a wide grassy field and a few trees. According to the Hartford Courant, Miller’s attorney Nancy Darby, wrote a letter to hold a title to the land as trustee of the Sharon A. Miller Trust and confirmed her consent for the McDonald’s application. McDonald’s was then built on 1.24 acres of the 15-acre site, which is about 1.5 miles from the McDonald’s restaurant on West Center Street.
As the new McDonald’s completed its construction on October 30th, the restaurant was opened to the public the very next day. Students don’t have to go too far out of their way anymore to satisfy their cravings for a burger and some fries. Although coming in and out of MCC is already a struggle with the traffic build up, students are concerned about how the opening of the restaurant may affect their commute to the college. According to the Traffic Data from the State Department of Transportation collected several years ago, around 15,500 cars pass through the Hillstown Road and Spencer Street intersection each day. Currently, the construction of the new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen—known for its fried chicken and biscuits—across the intersection is almost finished, but this will lead to a busy intersection at Spencer Street and Hillstown Road to only get worse.
“I think traffic will probably increase a little bit… as soon as people begin to notice that it is open, it will get worse and worse,” says MCC student, Nadia Guida.
Another concern is how this new fast-food chain might affect the business of the Cougar’s Cafe. One thing could motivate students to eat at McDonald’s more is a discount that the manager said he would try to implement for students that show their student I.D. “McDonald’s is a pretty good franchise, the students will probably eat there for a little bit but will start coming back to the cafeteria… you got winter upon us and I don’t think in the winter months people want to go out and take the frost off their windshield to go to McDonald’s,” MCC’s chef cook Mike Casey says.
Even though students can easily receive a discount and choose cheaper selections from menus, they should also think about how consuming their food every day can be quite unhealthy. Occasionally it won’t kill you in the time being if you eat the food once in a while, but eventually students will grow tired of fast food and might try something different—perhaps aiming for healthier options. Although time will tell what impact the new restaurants will have on campus life, most agree it is nice to have more choices in the area.