Eight McDonald’s restaurants in Harford and Cecil counties owned by the Lozinak family are in the process of being sold as the operator plans to retire.
“We’d like to thank all of our customers through the years that supported us and all of our employees that worked with us, especially those that did a great job,” owner Mike Lozinak said Thursday. “We’ve made a lot of friends over that time.”
The sale affects restaurants at Route 1 and Route 152 in Fallston, at Conowingo Road and Route 24 in Hickory, on Constant Friendship Boulevard in Abingdon, in Campus Hills across from Harford Community College, plus two restaurants in Aberdeen and two in Elkton.
Lozinak declined to say who the buyer is, as the settlement must be finalized. He expects that will happen by the end of August at the latest.
The eight franchises are operated through the Churchville-based Lozinak Organization. Lozinak, who is in his mid-50s and lives in Harford County, operates the restaurants with his wife, Brenda, and four children — Kristen, Tim, Alli and Matt.
The franchises were started by his parents, Bob and Joan Lozinak, in the late 1960s.
“They were the first McDonald’s in Harford and Cecil County back in the ’60s and early ’70s,” said Mike Lozinak, who took over the franchises in the late 1980s.
Mike Lozinak said he plans to retire to focus more on the minor-league baseball team he and his family own in Altoona, Pa. Mike, Bob, Joan and Mike’s brother, Dave, own the Altoona Curve, a AA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Dave Lozinak is the team’s director of operations and a co-owner, Mike Lozinak said.
“I'd like to spend more time with our ball team,” Mike Lozinak said as to why he is retiring.
Bob and Joan Lozinak, who also live in Harford County, were described as “one of the most influential couples in Altoona history,” in a profile published in the Altoona Mirror newspaper in 2016, when they were inducted into the Blair County, Pa., Sports Hall of Fame.
The couple, who grew up in Altoona, were married in February of 1963 and opened their first McDonald’s in Aberdeen in December of 1969, according to the profile.
Bob Lozinak told the newspaper he had been inspired to open his own McDonald’s by a man named Don Workinger, who drove a pink Cadillac into the Esso service station where Lozinak was working at the time. The station owner told him Workinger owed a McDonald’s, and Lozinak sought Workinger’s help in getting the Aberdeen McDonald’s open.
His parents’ first restaurant opened on Route 40 in Aberdeen, Mike Lozninak said. It has since been relocated — still on Route 40 — and it is across from the Aberdeen Walmart Supercenter.
“You could never keep up with people on the other side of the counter,” Bob Lozinak told the Mirror about the demand for McDonald’s products. “From 5 to midnight at Aberdeen, we would sell 1,100 Big Macs. That is constantly making them, and you make 12 at a time.”
The family later invested in baseball, owning minor league franchises in Albuquerque, N.M. and Jackson, Tenn., in addition to the Altoona Curve. The Lozninaks bought the Curve in 1999, sold the team in 2001 and purchased it again in 2008 as the owner at the time was looking to sell, according to the Mirror.
“It’s such a family venture,” Joan Lozinak told the newspaper. “It’s family entertainment, families can afford to go to minor league baseball games, the children are safe at the games.”
The family’s second Aberdeen McDonald’s is at Route 22 and Beards Hill Road, Mike Lozinak said.
The second McDonald’s restaurant that his parents opened in Harford County is in the Bel Air Plaza shopping center. Mike Lozinak said he sold it to the McDonald’s corporation 17 years ago.
The Lozinak family has, over nearly 50 years, had their “hands on” 14 McDonald’s in Cecil and Harford counties, and they own and operate eight, according to Mike Lozinak.
More than 300 people work at their eight restaurants, and the family has employed “thousands” of people over the years, he said.
“So many people have come back to us and said, ‘Thank you for teaching us how to work, teaching us the values of being good employees and just learning how to work with people, work through challenges get through the day and just holding yourself accountable,’” Mike Lozinak said. “All those attributes that you learn help you to be a success in life.”