WATERVILLE — Wendy’s restaurant at 329 Main St. is undergoing a major remodeling and is expected to re-open May 1 with all new equipment and a brand new, modern look.

“The place does a great amount of business,” said Jeff Marshall, director of operations for Restwend LLC, which operates 11 Wendy’s restaurants in Maine. “I know our customers miss us. Hold on, we’re coming back.”

Marshall, whose office is on Anthony Avenue in Augusta, opened the Wendy’s in Waterville in 1976 as assistant manager. Work started on the remodeling Feb. 24, he said. The general contractor is Hillson Contractors Inc., of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, which does a lot of Wendy’s restaurants, according to Marshall. Local businesses including Houle’s Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning, of Waterville, also are working on the project.

“We’re basically building a new restaurant,” Marshall said Wednesday. “We’re leaving the roof girders and three walls. It’s from the ground up. We’re replacing all the plumbing and 100% of the interior of the store.”

The back wall and two side walls of the building will remain pretty much intact, but the front of the building will have less glass than before, according to Marshall. The shape of the building will remain about the same, but there will be two pickup windows instead of one and they will be covered. The parking lot will be the same but new Americans with Disabilities Act ramps will be installed.

The front of the building will feature a big, red tower with a Wendy’s logo, according to Marshall.

“It’s a very modern-looking design,” he said.

The restaurant seated 85 people before work started and Marshall projects it will seat about 70 when it re-opens.

The former drive-thru window menu sign sits by a metal storage unit Wednesday as crews work on the reconstruction of Wendy’s on upper Main Street in Waterville. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

The Main Street Wendy’s employs about 30 people and they were offered opportunities to work in the Augusta, Bangor or other Wendy’s restaurants while the remodeling work is going on, according to Marshall. All of the employees opted to take time off and visited the state career center and sought unemployment benefits. He said Wendy’s hopes they all will return to work.

“We’ll start calling people back from around April 15 to 20,” Marshall said. “If any of them are bored, we’ll put them to work.”

Marshall said that the general manager for the restaurant, Andrea Nickerson, has worked there for more than 20 years and has been trying to stay in touch with the employees.

He said Wendy’s has done remodeling projects at other restaurants including both restaurants in Bangor and one in Auburn.

The Wendy’s in Waterville is located just south of a new Aspen Dental office built recently on the former site of Tim Hortons restaurant.

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