a note from kevin o’brien
Independent Franchise Owner/Operator
I am a second-generation owner/operator. My parents, Bill and Dorothy, built the first McDonald’s in Iowa City on Riverside Drive in 1958. My McDonald’s career that started as an offer to return from college to help them out for six months, has now turned into almost 40 years! Instead of leaving to pursue the career I had originally planned for myself, McDonald’s and this community became my passion. While McDonald’s is a global brand, as an independent owner/operator, this is truly a local business. I now own 23 restaurants in Iowa and employ over 1,300 people. We are truly honored to have the opportunity to serve all of our communities and the people in them.
HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED
1st McDonald’s restaurant opens in San Bernadino, California.
Multi-mixer salesman, Ray Kroc, opens the first McDonald’s franchise restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Bill and Dorothy O’Brien build their first McDonald’s on Riverside Drive in Iowa City, Iowa. Dorothy O’Brien was the first woman to own a McDonald’s franchise when women were not even permitted to work in the restaurants. #girlpower
Riverside Drive moved from its original location across the street to its current home. Coralville 1st Avenue Opened. Kevin O’Brien left college to come help his parents open their second location. He only planned to stay six months and well, as you have probably figured out, he never left. (He does admit to quitting 8 times that first year, but ultimately he couldn’t leave a job unfinished.)
Williamsburg location opened.
Lower Muscatine Road in Iowa City opened.
Washington location opened.
West Branch location opened.
Mormon Trek Blvd in Iowa City opened.
Commerce Drive in Coralville opened.
North Liberty location opened.
Locations in Muscatine and Walcott were acquired and joined the O’Brien McDonald’s Family.
Locations in Ames, Boone, Carroll, Marshalltown, Nevada & Story City were acquired and joined the O’Brien McDonald’s Family.
Locations in Cedar Rapids (Williams Blvd, Edgewood Road, Blairs Ferry Road, 1st Avenue) and Marion (6th Avenue) were acquired and joined the O’Brien McDonald’s Family.