Wading River McDonald’s to close Sept. 15

Wading River McDonald’s is closing, the property owner confirmed Tuesday.

The fast-food franchise will not reopen after its lease expires September 15, said Robert Steinberg, a partner in First Development Corporation of Islandia, which owns the property at the corner of Route 25A and Wading River-Manor Road where both McDonald’s and Walgreens are located.

“The typical McDonald’s has a drive-through, and that store does not have a drive-through,” Mr. Steinberg said. “Because of COVID, and for other reasons, the stores that do not have drive-through windows, they are not renewing their leases.”

Wading River McDonald’s had opened in 2002.

 Most of the McDonald’s franchises in Suffolk County, including Wading River and Mattituck — which also lacks a  drive-through window — are owned by Hunt Enterprises of Hauppauge, headed by Peter Hunt. Mr. Hunt did not return calls seeking comment. 

Employees at the Mattituck McDonald’s said they had not heard anything about that store closing. 

The Wading River store is located in the Business CR zone, also known as Rural Neighborhood Business. 

That zoning does not permit drive-through windows at restaurants, but does permit them for banks and pharmacies. 

“We have other sites where restaurants want to have a pickup window, where you just drive by in your car and pick it up,” Mr. Steinberg said. “But most towns don’t have anything in their code about a pickup window.”

He added that the Wading River site “is a great location and we’ll put another use in there .Perhaps another restaurant use or perhaps a bank.”

The Wading River property was originally proposed to have a 7-Eleven convenience store in the 1980s, but Riverhead Town adopted new zoning to prevent 24-hour operations.  

The Mattituck McDonald’s, which opened in 1995, was likewise prevented from having a drive-through window by Southold Town zoning.