Lowry Mall McDonald's closure approaching

The location will close May 13.
The McDonald's location on Lowry Mall will close May 13 after more than 30 years of operation. The space will be taken over by the Student Success Center.

After May 13, students will have to travel a bit further to get their fry fix. McDonald’s on Lowry Mall is set to close after more than 30 years of business.

“Changing landscapes and business factors for both McDonald's and the university made it the best decision not to renew the lease,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Lili Vianello said.

McDonald’s has been open since May 1978 and has offered hamburger specials and dining hall alternatives to thousands of MU students.

The McDonald’s corporation and franchise owners Mark and Kate Mehle planned to close the franchise in 2008, but due to the influx of incoming freshmen, as well as the temporary closing of Brady Food Court, the owners made the decision to renew the lease, according to Maneater archives.

Some students said the restaurant is inconvenient for reasons of cost and crowds.

“They don’t take E.Z. Charge,” freshman Michael Scallorns said. “It’s out of the way of a lot of my classes. It always seems to be crowded during lunch, and it’s inconvenient to wait that long. But if you go in there for business at 6 o’clock, it’s empty.”

But juniors John Drury and Sam Zeller, who eat at the restaurant an average of once a week, won't be happy to see it go.

“It’s quick food, and it’s on the way to class,” Drury said. “I guess we’ll have to eat at the student center now, even though it’s more expensive.”

The restaurant has brought its own bit of history to MU. Some claim the McDonald’s holds the title as selling the most Big Macs at one time, but the spot doesn’t hold any current records.

“The restaurant has held regional records for brief periods in its history, but the idea that the restaurant has held a world record is an urban myth,” Vianello said.

There are five other freestanding McDonald's in Columbia.

“Mark and Kate Mehle have been proud to share the McDonald's brand with the university family and appreciate the Campus community's support over the years,” Vianello said.

Once McDonald’s closes, the Student Success Center will expand and take over the space, Campus Facilities spokeswoman Karlan Seville said. Planning is still in the beginning stages.

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