McDonald's restaurants closing down are the kinds of stories you just don't see very often, but it's hitting all too close to home for the people of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota.
The northwest Minnesota town of 2,471 had its McDonald's of 10 years taken away last week, with the franchise's owner telling the Fargo Forum that it was shut down because the owner of the building housing the fast food joint couldn't come to an agreement with McDonald's on a lease extension.
In an email to BMTN, McDonald's spokesperson Anne Christensen declined to say how common it is for small town McDonald's restaurants to close, and she didn't provide specifics as to why the Pelican Rapids location shut down.
"Closing a restaurant is a difficult decision in any town but we look forward to continuing to serve our customers at our other McDonald’s restaurants in the neighboring communities," said Christensen.
As Mike McFeeley wrote in his column for the Fargo Forum, this one hurts the small Minnesota community.
"If that seems a little dramatic for a cookie-cutter fast-food joint like McDonald's bolting town—heck, there are more than 16,000 of them in the United States alone—remember that Pelican Rapids is not Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls or Alexandria. If a fast-food place leaves one of those larger cities, it's no big deal because there are always more to fill the void. But for Pelican, population 2,400, having a McDonald's was a big deal."
According to Trip Advisor, the people of Pelican Rapids still have 11 restaurants to choose from, including Dairy Queen and Subway if they're in need of fast food.
By the way, we have no idea if this is true for sure, but according to Wikipedia, the smallest town in the world to have a McDonald's is Garrison, Minnesota – the tiny town of 210 people near Brainerd in central Minnesota.