The Burger King restaurant at 339 State St. is undergoing a $500,000 makeover as workers are busy rehabilitating the building from top to bottom.
Workers from general contractor R.J. Shaw Inc., Tully, started work two weeks ago at the restaurant, which closed Saturday evening for construction. Slated to be completed by May 22, the project is part of a regional plan by owner Carrols Restaurant Group Inc., Syracuse, which announced a deal last month to purchase 278 restaurants from the chain roughly doubling the 297 it already owns across the Midwest and remodel about 450 restaurants over the next three and a half years.
The $15.8 million deal will make Carrols the most prominent franchisee of Burger King. It will own about 13 percent of the restaurants in the country.
Ron J. Shaw, owner of the contractor that won the bid for the State Street project, said Carrols is actively renovating restaurants across New York state. Mr. Shaws company, which is hiring about eight local subcontractors to complete the project, has remodeled about 60 restaurants for the company over the past 15 years.
He said the layout of the restaurant, which was built about 30 years ago, will be modified for efficiency to let workers serve drive-through customers faster.
Today, about 65 percent of business at fast-food restaurants comes from drive-through windows, Mr. Shaw said. The equipment in the kitchen is being upgraded so that employees can serve customers at the drive-through in less than two minutes time. Competition in this industry has grown immensely.
Included in the renovations will be the installation of new floors, ceilings, roofing, furniture and lighting, as well as red and beige interior paint. Metal roofing will replace the former shingles and the exterior walls will be lined with stucco. The restaurants new contemporary look will feature flat-screen televisions, digital menus and hanging lamps.
Its going to have a completely new architectural look, Mr. Shaw said, pointing to an illustration showing two small towers rising from the buildings fašade. An additional driveway will be added in the front of the building to improve traffic flow.
Mr. Shaw said about 90 percent of the work will be completed by workers from local subcontractors. In addition to the four employees at his company, he said, about 20 local workers will be hired to complete the plumbing, electricity, masonry and roofing for the project.
These projects always help the local economy, he said.