Changes are afoot at a trio of local fast food restaurants in southern Beaufort County.
Dunkin' Donuts has moved forward with plans to open, Nathan's Famous has closed, and McDonald's is being renovated.
The eatery at 1370 Fording Island Road in greater Bluffton is undergoing a renovation that will transform it into a modern brick building.
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The restaurant, which will remain open during construction, is tearing down a weather-worn playground to add 30 seats to its indoor dining room and an outdoor patio, said John Palmaccio, who owns the location with his wife, Monique.
The restaurant also will extendoperating hours and add a second lane of drive-through access and new bathrooms, he said.
The restaurant, previously open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, will be open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. The drive-through will be open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
Palmaccio, who also owns the Hilton Head and Hardeeville locations, said he plans to hire 30 new employees.
The work should be finished later this month.
At a June 9 grand reopening, the restaurant plans to donate $2,000 to charities, including to local Boy Scouts. Ronald McDonald is scheduled to appear.
The Dunkin' Donuts slated for Hilton Head cleared a hurdle this week when the town's Board of Zoning Appeals granted a special exception for a drive-through.
Local franchisee Chi "Will" Wang, who could not be reached for comment Friday, is leasing a former bank building on the north end in the Southwood Plaza near the Yummy House restaurant on William Hilton Parkway.
Wang also has locations in the city of Beaufort and Jasper County.
The restaurant at 15 Towne Drive in greater Bluffton's Belfair Towne Village closed about a month ago.
A sign on the door said an "unexpected family medical situation" prompted the closure.
"We would like to thank all our loyal customers who made this restaurant a success," it read.
The eatery's owners could not be reached for comment.
Staff writer Tom Barton contributed to this report.