A bigger and more modern McDonald’s restaurant is expected to open today near state Route 8 off Graham Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

Rubber City McDonald’s owner John Blickle said he anticipates the expanded store to become the most successful of his 20 locations throughout Summit and Portage counties within several years.

“We’re very excited,” he said. “It always had been a good location. It just was restricted by the amount of dining space we had, and the drive-through layout was not perfect.”

Rubber City McDonald’s acquired an adjacent Friendly’s restaurant property a couple of years ago and tore down both facilities to make room for the expanded, 5,000-square-foot location.

Blickle said the total investment in the project exceeded $3 million.

“It’s our most expensive ever,” he said. “It wasn’t cheap. The land wasn’t cheap, and the building is much larger and very well done inside.”

The rebuilt restaurant features an enlarged dining space decorated in black, yellow and purple. An additional drive-through window has been added.

“It’s a very modern look,” he said. “It would not be considered a traditional McDonald’s.”

The expanded restaurant employs 70 people, an increase of 32 from the previous facility, according to Blickle.

The restaurant plans to open at 11 a.m. today, pending the required approval from public health inspectors, Blickle said. A grand-opening celebration will be planned for February.

Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or cpowell@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.