Site cleared for McDonald’s construction

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 14, 2004

VIDALIA &045;&045; The first signs that Vidalia may once again have a McDonald’s surfaced Wednesday as crews worked to demolish the remains of the restaurant destroyed in a July fire.

Former owner Lorraine Stalians said the corporate office is now in control of the Vidalia franchise and is planning to rebuild.

The New Orleans construction department could not be reached for comment.

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The restaurant was destroyed in an early morning fire on July 4. The Vidalia Fire Department investigated the cause of the fire for several weeks along with the state fire marshal, but Assistant Chief Ben Adams said Thursday that the investigation is closed and the exact cause was not determined.

The restaurant was closed and no one was in the building at the time of the fire.

Stalians turned the management of the restaurant over to the corporation on Oct. 17, but said she has been told a new local manager will be hired.

Stalians, who owned McDonald’s for 20 years, said she watched part of the demolition Wednesday. &uot;I built that restaurant, and it’s hard to watch 20 years of your life being put into the trash,&uot; Stalians said.

She said she enjoyed being a part of the McDonald’s family, giving young people their first job and working with several special needs programs. She is also the owner of Lorraine’s Restaurant on the Riverfront.