McDonald’s opening date confirmed as ‘Golden Arches’ appear at Willow Brook

Photo of a building under construction.
McDonald’s restaurant under construction in the car park of the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke, on 1st September 2022.

As construction of the new two-story McDonald’s restaurant and drive-through at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre nears completion, the firm has confirmed a planned opening date of Wednesday 14th September 2022.

A new Starbucks café and drive-through, being built on an adjoining plot, is slated for an October opening.

Planning permission for the controversial fast food units was granted on appeal in January 2020 after the application was twice thrown out by committees of councillors at South Gloucestershire Council, in a saga that spanned nearly two years.

Construction work at the site finally began in earnest on 14th February 2022, following delays resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following extensive groundworks, the first sections of the modular McDonald’s building were hoisted into position on Monday 18th July.

Photo of a crane lifting a modular building element.
The first of the pre-fabricated modules that will make up the new McDonald’s restaurant are hoisted into position. Photo credit: Paul Coakley.

Since then, workers have been busy fitting completing the external facing, fitting out the interior and constructing the drive-through lanes.

An electrical supply has been brought in from Bradley Stoke Way and a water supply has been routed across the car park from a point near the Subway store, on the corner of the main Willow Brook Centre building.

Confirmation that the work is nearing completion came on Thursday 1st September when ‘McDonald’s’ lettering and the familiar ‘Golden Arches’ symbol appeared on the exterior of the new building.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

According to information submitted as part of the planning application, the new Bradley Stoke McDonald’s restaurant is expected to employ more than 65 full and part-time staff. However, a recent advertorial in the Bristol Post spoke of there being “up to 120 employees”.

Training of the newly recruited workforce has been going on since mid-August at the McDonald’s restaurant at Cribbs’ Causeway.

Local McDonald’s franchisee Mike Guerin, who operates a number of the chain’s restaurants across the Bristol area, said:

“I’m excited that my new Bradley Stoke restaurant is being built with a new design and innovations which will improve the experience of our customers and my team. I look forward to opening on 14th September.”

More photos: McDonald’s and Starbucks in Bradley Stoke (Album on Google Photos)

Opening hours

The planning permission does not include any conditions that restrict opening hours, so the McDonald’s outlet could potentially trade 24 hours a day.

McDonald’s Restaurants Limited has recently submitted an application for the grant of a premises licence for the provision of ‘late night refreshment’ at its new Bradley Stoke restaurant, covering the period from 11pm to 5am, Mondays to Sundays. Holding such a licence is a requirement of the Licensing Act 2003.


It is noted that at one point during negotiations surrounding the planning application, the agent acting for the applicant stated that they would be prepared to accept a restriction on opening hours of 6am-midnight (Sun-Thu) / 6am-1am (Fri & Sat). Although not 24 hours a day, this regime would still require a ‘late night refreshment’ premises licence as it goes beyond the 11pm cut-off specified in the Licensing Act.

The licensing application will be considered by South Gloucestershire Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee on Tuesday 6th September. Representations made by the deadline of 15th August include 37 objections from residents. Bradley Stoke Town Council has also lodged an objection.

Failure to secure a late night licence would not prevent the restaurant from opening during the unrestricted hours of 5am to 11pm.

More information: Agenda and reports for the Licensing Sub-Committee meeting on 6th September (SGC)

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