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BUSINESS BEAT: First McDonald’s in West Virginia celebrates 60 years

By Fred Pace, HD Media

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Before the first McDonald’s opened in Huntington, the closest location to purchase the company’s burgers, fries and shakes was in Ashland.

Earnest and James Wolf opened the McDonald’s in 1964 at 70 Washington Ave. and it was the first in West Virginia. It was built with red and white colors and retained that appearance from its opening in 1964 until 1981.

It was later the first updated as a full-size restaurant with a drive-thru window.

In 2010, the restaurant was moved and a new one was constructed on the corner of 1st Street and 5th Avenue. It was the first McDonald’s in the U.S. to have electric vehicle charging stations.

In 1970, the Wolfs opened a second Huntington location, and by that time it was the third in West Virginia.

Today, the Wolf Organization’s McDonald’s employs 65 people at the 1st Street/5th Avenue location and more than 950 individuals across all its restaurants.

“I am proud to carry on the legacy started by my dad and uncle, who had a vision of bringing the first McDonald’s to West Virginia and the Huntington community,” said Tom Wolf, who owns and operates 16 McDonald’s locations in Huntington, Ashland and elsewhere. “Our family continues to pride itself on being able to serve our local communities but will always have a special place in our hearts for the Huntington restaurant.”

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