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McFeely: 'The Whopper replaces the Big Mac' in Pelican Rapids

A flatbed truck carries away the sign from the McDonald's store in Pelican Rapids, Minn., on Monday, March 12. Special to The Forum

PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. — This Minnesota lakes country town is swapping burgers.

After losing its McDonald’s restaurant this spring, the Park Region Cooperative convenience store/gas station at the south end of Broadway is replacing it with a Burger King.

“The Whopper replaces the Big Mac in Pelican Rapids,” said Greg Larson, general manager of the co-op.

The McDonald’s leaving after 10 years was big news in this small resort city of 2,400. The Golden Arches literally rolled out of town on a flatbed truck in mid-March when the co-op and the restaurant franchise owner couldn’t come to a lease agreement. Larson said at the time he was hoping to fill the space connected to the convenience store with another chain fast-food restaurant.

It took a little longer than expected, but Larson said Tuesday, June 5, that a Burger King will open in late July or early August. Work has started on fitting the restaurant to Burger King corporate standards and Larson said the co-op will upgrade the bathrooms that are used by both convenience store and restaurant customers.