Commission proposes Carl's over McDonald's

Editor's note: This corrects the votes for Carl's Jr. and against Sbarro and Panda Express.

The statue of "The Duke," an Orange County icon, greets flyers after they touch down at John Wayne Airport. Soon, those travelers could be tasting some local history as well.

Carl's Jr., which opened its first drive-thru burger stand in Anaheim in 1945, could replace McDonald's as the fast-food operator in the airport's main terminal.

The Airport Commission voted 3 to 1 on Dec. 1 to recommend that Carl's Jr./Green Burrito be awarded a 10-year lease, and to cut off the Big Macs and Egg McMuffins that have been feeding travelers for 20 years.

The commissioners, whose proposal has to be ratified by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, considered the experience of the fast-food franchise, food quality and enhancements it would bring to the site, said airport spokeswoman Jenny Wedge.

"This is a very competitive process," Wedge said.

At the same meeting, the commission voted against including Sbarro and Panda Express in soon-to-be-opened Terminal C.

Others interested in setting up shop were Burger King, Great Wraps, Lee's Sandwiches and Firkin Pubs.

The two restaurant sites in the main terminal are 2,100 square feet.

Terminal C's restaurant site is 2,600 square feet.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the leases at its Dec. 14 meeting.

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