ALBANY — The Golden Arches at New York Thruway service stops are gone.
And while some McDonald’s, a mainstay since the 1990s, will be replaced with salad, sandwich and wrap options, new eateries that include Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, Panda Express and Burger King will also be at Thruway service plazas as part of a statewide overhaul.
With their contract expiring at the end of the year, the nine remaining McDonald’s shut down at the end of 2022.
McDonald’s was the last of three concessionaires who operated at the service plazas and the last one whose contract had expired.
A new concessionaire, Applegreen, has taken over operation of all 27 of the stops.
As new eating options come into place, the stops will also include Applegreen C-Stores, which are convenience stores offering a variety of hot and cold food items as well as sandwiches and wraps.
The Applegreen C-Stores are scheduled to be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. They also offer Taste NY, or made-in-New York products and merchandise.
Prior to this year, the Thruway’s service areas were operated by a combination of HMS, Delaware North and McDonald’s.
The HMS Host and Delaware North’s contracts with the Thruway expired in July 2021 and McDonald’s expired on Dec. 31, 2022. McDonald’s had been an operator on the Thruway since 1991.
Applegreen is a global chain of stores and service areas based in Ireland. The Blackstone Group investment firm is a major investor in the company.
They operate more than 600 sites throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland.
In the Northeast, they operate service areas in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Additionally, on Monday, January 1, the Thruway’s Ramapo service area southbound between exit 16 and exit 15A, as well as the Warners service area westbound between exit 39 and exit 40, were closed for construction. Other service areas on the Thruway also remain closed while being redone.
Fuel remains available at service areas, however, during construction.