How many of you remember East High Street before Brooks Plaza? Do you recall Wiltsie Chrysler or Wiltsie Chevrolet or even before that Partyka Chevrolet? And how many remember Alan Battit in 1979 and 1980 dismantling the white house located just west of the car dealership – the one the “JayCee’s” used for many years as a haunted house in October celebrating Halloween. I spent many a summer weekend assisting Alan dismantle the structure along with a number of his other friends such as Mike and Bobby Olzacki. That post and beam structure stayed in storage thanks to Stanley Bevin and Bevin Bros. Bell Company until the members of the Joseph N. Goff House rebuilt it on Barton Hill 20 years later.
But in the early 1980s, the buzz circulating around East Hampton was that something big was going to happen on that East High Street site. Well, I guess something big for our small town did. 25 years ago this month, I had the distinct honor as State Representative of cutting the ribbon as John Kay opened the McDonald’s Restaurant. Hard to believe that it has been 25 years! The Kay’s have come and gone, moving on as I understand it to McDonald’s franchises in Hawaii. With less than 9,000 people in East Hampton that was a bold step, but the vision proved accurate.
L - R : partially blocked John Kay, Representative Dean Markham and Barbara Kay
and members of the East Hampton Junior Women's Club
Along with numerous other local businesses, McDonald’s has been a good corporate citizen to many worthwhile endeavors in our community from support of Old Home Day, our students’ activities, Sunshine Kids and numerous other fundraisers and projects. For that we should all applaud the owners and wish them another 25 years of success.
As reported in the Standard Bullet - August 25, 1994