By Anna Skinner
John Liapes and wife Mary are no novices when it comes to running a McDonald’s franchise, as they own two stores in Whitestown and Zionsville.
Yet Carmel has not seen a new McDonald’s in 20 years, and Liapes said that he and his wife will be the ones to bring the restaurant to the city.
“McDonald’s decided they wanted build the first new restaurant in Carmel in over 20 years and they like the way we run restaurants,” he said. “Our goal is to run great restaurants.”
The couple decided in October to take on the new store at The Bridges in Carmel and broke ground on Nov. 23. The opening date is projected to March 3.
“It will be a very café style McDonald’s with very warm tones, my wife designed the interior,” Liapes said. “I think what we are trying to deliver here is the experience of the future of McDonald’s in terms of design and all the equipment will be state of the art.”
Once the restaurant is open, approximately 60 people will be hired at what Liapes calls aggressive wages starting at $11 an hour based on experience and availability.
The Liapeses live only five minutes from the new restaurant, and one of them will be present each day of business.
“We are excited to be home owners and business owners in the same community and look forward to running a great restaurant in Carmel,” Liapes said. “We are very involved, part of our success in the business is we take it very seriously and we get to know our guests very well. We love to remember their names and be a part of the community and interacting with our guests is really important to us.”