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Knotty Pine

McDonald's, The History Center clipping files, 1972.

 Shortly after construction of the new Williams Boulevard SW road, the Kluber family of Cedar Rapids built a restaurant here, at 2615 Williams Boulevard SW.  Taking advantage of the close proximity of both the Williams Boulevard Highway and the nearby intersection with U.S. Highway 30, the Kluber’s transformed their formerly rural property into their new restaurant.  Made with interior walls covered in pine wood boards, the restaurant gained its name, Knotty Pine. Very popular in the 1950’s and 60’s, the restaurant thrived until the lot was sold in 1970. The Knotty Pine building was moved and converted back into a house. The original site was redeveloped to construct the second McDonald’s Hamburger fast-food restaurant in Cedar Rapids. The original McDonald’s structure at this site featured the classic “Golden Arches” made famous by owner Ray Kroc in the 1950’s and 60’s. In the late 1970’s, the building was extensively remodeled and enlarged to accommodate more indoor seating. A newer McDonald’s building replaced the original structure in the early 2000’s. This is the oldest continuous location of a McDonald’s in Cedar Rapids, with the restaurant approaching 50 years in 2020.

Mark W. Stoffer Hunter, Research Historian, The History Center


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