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Photo by Dave Flessner / The Signal Mountain McDonald's restaurant on Taft Highway has closed. McDonald's is the third national fast-food chain to exit Signal Mountain in the past decade.

The Golden Arches are coming down from Signal Mountain this week as another major national fast-food chain exits the mountaintop city.

The McDonald's restaurant at 1308 Taft Highway closed this week when the local franchisee for McDonald's,, A&A Management of TN LLC, determined it no longer made business sense to operate the 3,881-square-foot eatery.

"As small business owners in the community, we review our restaurant portfolio on a regular basis to make the best decisions for our business moving forward," Rob and Carrie Goodwin, co-owners of local McDonald's franchise, said in a statement Wednesday. "The closing of our Signal Mountain restaurant was a difficult decision. It has been a pleasure serving the Signal Mountain community for more than five years. "

The Goodwins said the Signal Mountain McDonald's had helped support local schools, first responders and local charities on the mountain. But the owners of the local McDonald's restaurants said they are shifting their focus to more than a half dozen other McDonald's units they operate in the area.

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The closing of the Signal Mountain McDonald's comes nine years after the nation's biggest franchisee of Taco Bell closed the Taco Bell on Signal Mountain due to inadequate sales. A local franchisee of Hardee's also operated on Signal Mountain until a few years ago.

A franchised Subway remains in the mountain, but most of the restaurants are locally owned and operated.

The U.S. Bureau of Census estimates that Signal Mountain and the adjacent town of Walden had 10,709 residents in 2018, the most recent year for which population estimates are available.

"I think Signal Mountain residents' tastes have matured and they want a better product as we've seen at our store," said Chuck Pruett, owner of Pruett's Market on Signal Mountain. "People are more quality-driven and they want to know where their food comes from more than in the past, and I don't know that McDonald's has kept up with the times."

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

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