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40 Years After Coming To Town, Wyckoff McDonald's Closes

McDonald's closes in Boulder Run: "Thank you, Wyckoff, for 40 wonderful years!"
McDonald's closes in Boulder Run: "Thank you, Wyckoff, for 40 wonderful years!" Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

Not everyone welcomed McDonald’s when it sought a Wyckoff address 40 years ago.

Bringing the hamburger chain to their affluent Bergen County suburb would create a domino effect that would “cheapen” its character, some contended. 

Look no further than some foreign cities, said one resident, pointing to golden arches and trash along the Champs de Elysees. More fast-food joints wouldn't be far behind, he said.

The opposition was strong, but it was nowhere near as intense as when Dairy Queen rolled up five years earlier.

Township planners eventually OK’d the new burger joint in the Boulder Run Shopping Center, anchored at the time by Grand Union.

McDonald's location #5,642 could be no bigger than 400 square feet, though -- and no golden arches. The sign it did have could be illuminated only during operating hours.

No trash cans would be placed outside, which McDonald’s claimed would discourage people from tossing garbage in the Boulder Run lot. A company lawyer even promised signs asking customers not to eat outside (ironic in these times, no?).

And no drive-thru.

“Are you a get-out-of-the-housewife?” one recruiting advertisement asked. “During the week, when the kids are in school and you’re free to do what you want to do, McDonald’s has just what you’re looking for!”

The ad promised “competitive wages, flexible hours tailored to your schedule, free uniforms, free meals [and] regular salary reviews....You can even take the summer off when your kids are home on a ‘full time’ schedule.”

On Oct. 15, 1980, then-Mayor Jacob Van Der Eems cut a ribbon of $1 bills to officially open the 116-seat joint.

A smidge over four decades later, it unceremoniously closed this past week.

The owners were rumored to have lost their lease, although that couldn’t be officially confirmed (continued after photo).

McDonald's earlier this year said it was closing 200 locations nationwide.

Jerry DeMarco

Like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, McDonald's is closing hundreds of locations amid the coronavirus pandemic -- among them, a Mickey D's on Route 4 in Paramus that was shut down earlier this year. 

The eateries are among 200 locations (of nearly 14,000 nationwide) being closed in the U.S. before the end of 2020, the hamburger giant announced earlier this year.

Fallout from the pandemic accelerated the closings, some of which had been planned over the next several years, company officials said. Those without drive-thrus were expected to be first on the list.

Boulder Run remained busy on Saturday. Masked workers at several eateries dodged vehicles as they catered to patrons under tents or at open-air tables in several cordoned-off sections of the parking lot.

Passerby who stopped in front of what had been McDonald’s location #5,642 found a flier taped to each door:

We regret to inform you that this location is permanently closed. Thank you, Wyckoff, for 40 wonderful years! Please visit us at these nearby locations (Drive Thru open 24/7 at both locations):

“741 Hamburg Turnpike Wayne NJ / 150 State Route 17 South Mahwah NJ

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