PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — For more than 60 years, Harrison Avenue has been home to the first Golden Arches in Bay County. McDonald’s first opened in 1962 but now those doors are closing.
In October of 1962, the Johnstone family made history, bringing the first McDonald’s to Bay County.
“My dad had a family to support and the McDonald’s on Harrison supported his family and him so it became the way we were as a family, we were McDonald’s operators through and through we loved the business,” former McDonald’s owner Tim Johnston said.
In total, the Johnstones owned seven locations across the Panhandle. Back in 2021, Tim and his wife Tracy decided it was time to retire, selling the stores to Costa Enterprises.
“Tracy and I were very hands-on operators at McDonald’s and I would attribute that to our success, our employees were well paid, we had very very low turnover in the crew and most of our management had been with us for years and years,” Tim Johnstone said.
On Monday, Costa Enterprises announced the Harrison Avenue location, which they have been running for over 20 years, will be closing its doors on October 31st.
Johnstone said one memory he will never forget from that location is the Christmas Parade.
“When my children were small I used to take them up to the roof of the restaurant and we would stay warm by some of the exhaust fans up there on the roof and then watched the Christmas Parade come down Harrison Avenue,” Johnstone said.
Costa Enterprises said they have been proud to serve the community at the Harrison Avenue location and they are hoping residents will come and visit the downtown Golden Arches one last time on Tuesday.