CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A popular fast food restaurant in downtown Charleston is back open.

Wendy’s, on the corner of Virginia Street East and Clendenin Street, reopened its doors to the public Thursday. The facility was closed back in January for renovations.

“This was actually the 65th Wendy’s ever out of 6,700, so it was a dinosaur. It just needed more than a little TLC, so we decided to knock to whole building down and rebuild it,” said Justin Schmidt with the Schmidt Family Restaurant Group who owns the Wendy’s.

Built in 1974, the old restaurant was one of the first in West Virginia.

“It’s very exciting to be open and to bring this back to Charleston, especially all that’s going down in this area with the Civic Center and all that. It’s a long time coming,” Schmidt said.

The new facility has a lot of updated features including a touch screen menu option for customers.

“We’ve got some Kiosks. If there’s a big line, they can walk around and basically place their order themselves,” Schmidt said.

A seating area with a built in fire place was added to the back of the restaurant. Renovations also include a higher ceiling.

Kennedy Estep, who dressed as Wendy in a white and blue striped dress and red braided pig tails, was at the restaurant to hand out free junior Frosties.

“I’m here to greet the customers, say hello to the children. It’s just the energy and excitement that I can bring to it. I feel like I can make everybody happier here and have a good time,” said Estep, who works at the Wendy’s in South Point, Ohio.

Across the way sat Tim Bolick, of Hurricane, who is a frequent Wendy’s customer.

“I had business on this end of town and just happened to stop in here on their opening day today,” Bolick said. “I think that the fire place, the sitting area over there with the television — very modern decor, clean. For their first day, I think they’ve done well.”

The new Wendy’s employs about 50-60 people. Some employees from the old restaurant are back working for the new one.

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