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A local McDonald's franchise restaurant recently completed an expansion and remodeling project that officials hope will make it more inviting to customers.

The Spanish Fork McDonald's restaurant, 950 Expressway Lane, marked its grand reopening in March to show off its $175,000 expansion and remodeling, which began last October.The facility has taken on a fresh new look that incorporates design elements of a garden atrium, hints of Grecian architecture and the warmth of a Southwestern dining room, according to store owner Andy Shelline.

"We've got additional seating for 38 in the atrium now, as well as a decor that we hope will make the store more accessible and inviting."

Shelline said the store was having problems with its front entrance, "which was just not very accessible for customers or for our service equipment."

A new entrance is located on the restaurant's west side, and the glass-enclosed atrium, as well as increased customer-service space in the restaurant's front section, keeps the restaurant warmer, Shelline said.

"The open glass structure is something that we think is brighter and more alive than our existing decor (was)."

Shelline said the older decorations may have outlived their usefulness and were "very dark. They were maybe adding a drab environment to the restaurant."

At the same time, Shelline said, he wanted to make sure that changing the restaurant's decor would complement the store's atmosphere and not run into costly remodeling.

"At the time, to change the store's tiling and some of the interior decorations would have been too costly. We just wanted to make the store brighter and more vibrant.

"It's the chain's policy to keep its restaurants up-to-date and to keep them changing with the changing times. It just wouldn't have been cost-feasible to replace all of the restaurant's features."