The new McDonald’s construction site in Watseka doesn’t look like much yet, but activity at the jobsite was buzzing on this fine spring morning.  According to news reports, the new McDonald’s will have modern touch panel order screens, two drive thru lanes, and will feature table service inside.

The much-anticipated project began late last fall after the demolition of both The Flower Shak and Burger King. The old McDonald’s site has also been demolished.

The reason for the McDonald’s move in Watseka is well-known to locals. Watseka has experienced several significant flood events, and the McDonald’s was underwater each time. After flooding in 2008, upgrades were made to the building to keep the water out. The upgrades worked in 2015 & 2016, allowing the McDonald’s to reopen almost as soon as the water had receded. However after another major flood in 2018, the waterproofing failed and the building was again inundated and deemed to be too badly damaged to save.

Residents of Watseka as well as travelers on Route 1 are looking forward to having quick access to a McDonald’s drive-thru again. Currently the nearest McDonalds are located in Gilman, Hoopeston, and Kentland, all roughly 20-30 minutes from Watseka.

The new McDonald’s is being constructed just across the street from the newly constructed Casey’s, which was a significant upgrade for Watseka as well. The old Casey’s building, located in downtown Watseka, has been repurposed and is now the Watseka DMV.

We’re glad to see these new improvements happening in the heart of Iroquois County!