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Our Last 50 Referrers

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May 25, 2008

Mickey D on Steroids

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Some readers in the gray-or-dyed-hair demographic might remember the early McDonald's stands. The ones with golden arches bracketing a service counter, kitchen and storage area; there was no indoor seating.

Some new McDonald's buildings have retro'd (howzzat for verbing a noun, folks) the bracketing arch style. But what I've noticed here and there was nothing compared to the McDonald's near our hotel in Chicago, just north of the river. Behold:


Here's the set-up. Large parking lot, drive-thru, large but otherwise pretty conventional first floor as hamburger stand.

It's the upper floor where things get interesting. Not shown is the coffee house cum gelato bar service counter. This shot gives a general idea as to what's there otherwise. Next, some details.

Here are some of the booths. The large windows and second-floor location and viewpoint are about all that's different from ordinary McDonald's.

This is one of the lounge areas. Nice furniture.

Even nicer furniture. Those Barcelona Chairs don't come cheap.

So what are you waiting for? No more sneaking into McDonald's or making excuses to spouses, friends or co-workers. At last, a place where you can have a Big Mac and power meeting at the same time. If you happen to be in Chcago, that is.



posted by Donald at May 25, 2008


It seems like a lot of Mcdonalds have been renovated lately (or the company has closed down restaurants to open more visually pleasing ones).

The Mcdonalds in Milan were especially stylish and extremely popular with the locals.

Posted by: thehova on May 25, 2008 1:57 PM

Actually, you verbed an adjectived prefix.

Posted by: nathaniel on May 25, 2008 3:03 PM

nathaniel -- Oh well ... so long as I holed the English language below the waterline I'm in synch with the times.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on May 25, 2008 5:43 PM

I like this. When modern architecture tries to be self-consciously whimsical, it seems to work. When it takes itself seriously, it usually sucks. There is a garish new red, white and blue Dairy Queen here in Thomasville that is so retro, it's appealing.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on May 25, 2008 8:36 PM

McDonald's goes upscale and stylish. Had to happen, I suppose.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on May 26, 2008 11:12 PM

You should have gone to Portillo's accross the street. Great Chicago style hot dogs, Italian Beefs and other good food.

Posted by: Robert on May 27, 2008 12:07 PM

Back in 1977 I went to the McDonald's in Montreal (the only one at the time). It was very unobtrusive - the name was painted on the window, but no other signs. But they had a fountain out front that formed those ubiquitous MickeyD arches. I know I took a picture - I found the contrast between NY and Montreal McDs too delicious. But I'd have to look through about a thousand old slides to find it. Anyone have a quick, non-labor intensive way to convert slides to digital pics?

Posted by: Julie Brook on May 27, 2008 3:45 PM

I worked across the street from this place in 1982-83, when it first opened as a much smaller building (but still large for a McDonalds). It was owned by an independent operator and the McDonalds corporation didn't originally like it much. Then it was known as the "Rock and Roll McDonalds" with one side devoted to a quite elaborate display of 1950s pop memorabilia (such as a red Corvette) and the other side to 1960s artifacts (such as life size George Segal-style sculptures of the Beatles). As Chicago's River North neighborhood became a highly fashionable restaurant row in the late 1980s, it flourished as the only affordable combination of cheap food and cheap parking in the area (although the prices were about 40% higher than at normal McDonalds).

This new giant-sized version on the same site dates from some time in the current decade.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on May 28, 2008 1:30 AM

seems to me too elegant for a minced meat sandwich boot

Posted by: j on June 1, 2008 1:27 PM

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