That brand new set of golden arches will open at the end of the week, just off the Coburg exit, but some argue that a fast food chain doesn’t seem compatible with the city’s small town feel.
When you think of Coburg, you may think of antique shops and charming one-of-a kind stores, but the city is branching out in business while still maintaining downtown’s charm.
If you’re looking for a burger in Coburg, you go to Chief’s.
“If you really want to sit down and enjoy a good meal go to Chief’s,” said one customer.
But this week, there will be a new burger joint in town, and the first drive-through to ever open up shop in Coburg city limits.
“In terms of the overall planning for the city, there’s a discouraging of fast food in downtown proper, but that’s very appropriate for the character of the I-5 corridor,” said Jae Pudewell, Coburg Mayor.
That’s right where the new McDonald’s sits. It’s a very different feel than the Willamette Street strip, filled with shops like Fine Consign. It’s almost like two different towns. Mayor Pudewell calls it a two-pronged development approach.
“We have a kind of character for businesses and services along the I-5 corridor, but at the same time maintaining the historical character of Coburg itself, which is what we’re really focusing on. Making sure those two worlds, as you say, have some sort of separation,” Pudewell said.
“This is a charming little town, and we don’t want it to be a franchise kind of a town. It would take away from the old historic feeling,” said Coburg business owner Don Frosland.
“I think Coburg really has a really strong history and a strong culture, and as a whole, it might not be exactly what the community would stand for, but all communities really need to move forward,” said Chief’s waitress Shannon Laiblin.
That’s exactly what Mayor Pudewell and the city are shooting for, starting with the positive addition of McDonald’s.
“As soon as you have some sort of activity in one place, it tends to breed more activity,” Pudewell said.
“When a business comes in, it shows the community itself is growing. And when a community grows, that’s good for everybody,” Laiblin said.
That’s especially for burger lovers. McDonald’s is set to open late this week, matched up with a new Coburg Crossing Market and the Shell Station, all just right off I-5.