The projected opening date for the new Washington McDonald’s has been pushed back from Aug. 1 to Aug. 29.

Deb Klak, who owns the McDonald’s restaurant with her husband Mike, said the goal was to be open in time for the Washington Town and Country Fair.

That date has significance because it was August 1977, when the Klaks first opened here.

“We had plans for opening on Aug. 1 in time for the Fair and as a celebration of our 36 years of being part of the Washington area and Franklin County,” she said. “Unfortunately, we’ve had some unexpected delays.”

Klak said site work for the project has been extensive. A retaining wall had to be constructed for the building — which is about 30 percent larger than the old one.

Weather and holidays also have played a role in the delays, she said.

Adding to those issues, Klak said the wrong brick was delivered. The correct brick has been ordered, she said, and is expected to be delivered soon.

“The seating, equipment, signage, lighting and painting will be happening at an aggressive pace to make the Aug. 29 date,” she noted.

Klak said the Washington McDonald’s will participate in the Fair Parade Sunday, Aug. 4.

“And, for our 36th year, we will again be the sponsor of the Washington Town and Country Fair Livestock Auction,” she said.

The decor and theme of the restaurant when it first opened was the Fair.

Since its opening, the Klaks have actually updated or remodeled the restaurant every five years.

The Klaks own a total of eight of the fast-food restaurants — but the Washington McDonald’s was their first and Deb Klak said it will always hold a special place in their hearts.

The new restaurant is being built on the same site as the old one off Highway 100, near JCPenney.

The last day at the old McDonald’s was May 11 and the restaurant was swamped with customers.

The Klaks are excited about the new restaurant which will feature dual drive-through lanes. The extra lane was made possible with the purchase of about 78 feet of the adjacent JCPenney parking lot.

The new restaurant also will have a larger play area for children, as well as more seating and a major change — extended hours. It will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week both inside and at the drive-throughs.

Klak said customers can expect a “fresh new look” which will be very contemporary inside and out. The interior will have lighter colors, down lighting and privacy screens, but no walls. There also will be a lot of glass.

Even the landscaping will have a very contemporary feel, Klak said.

Earll Construction is the general contractor for the project. This is the same construction company that completed the St. Clair McDonald’s major remodel.

The Klaks own and operate four restaurants in Franklin County — Washington, Pacific, St. Clair and Union — and four in St. Louis County — Allenton, Eureka, Peerless Park and Bowles Avenue, Fenton.

Mike Klak started working for McDonald’s as a teenager and later as a corporate employee before branching out to operate his own restaurant. This is his 53rd year in association with McDonald’s.