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Golden Arches come down for renovation
An excavator tears down the McDonalds on West Avenue near Iris Dr. - photo by Bryan Fazio

A Conyers landmark was taken down on Tuesday as the McDonalds on the corner of West Ave. and Iris Dr was demolished to make way for a newer, better building.

The McDonalds, which opened in 1974, will be replaced and back up and running about March, but on Tuesday it was a time to reflect and watch as an excavator reduced the restaurant to rubble.

"It's sad," said Bruce Vineyard, franchise owner since 1974. "There are a lot of memories."

Among those memories were those of a 15-year old employee, Holly Hunter, who later went on to win an Academy Award for her performance in "The Piano" and now stars in "Saving Grace."

Vineyard who was watching as the building was reduced to rubble also remembered exactly where he stood with the mayor at the grand opening ceremony 36 years ago.

Vineyard, who now owns six other McDonalds, will be on hand for another opening but took time on Tuesday to pick up a few bricks as mementoes of his very first store.

"We made a lot of friends in the community here," Vineyard said.