Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Fancy NYC McDonald's Almost Like Being In Europe

In terms of their McDonald's restaurant design, Europe is way ahead of us. Their McDonald's have fancy chairs, and flat-screen TVs, and only the chicest homeless people setting up residency in the bathrooms. Well now, finally, at least one American McDonald's has caught up.

From The AP:

A McDonald's in midtown Manhattan became the first in the U.S. this fall to undergo a sleek, European-style makeover similar to what McDonald's has done at thousands of outlets around in France and the United Kingdom.

The eatery is outfitted with outlets for plugging in laptops, upholstered vinyl chairs instead of Fiberglas seats bolted to the floor, subdued lighting and employees whose all-black uniforms suggest a hip boutique.

Oooh. All-black uniforms! It's almost as hip as Applebee's. Or even Supercuts. Which is probably really confusing for people. 

"It's like a lounge," said Kimberly Burgess, one of many patrons who did a double take after entering the newly renovated restaurant in Manhattan's Chelsea section. "It's so different from all the other McDonald's. It's beautiful." 

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"What is this, Europe?" Ms. Burgess continued, her face a mix of bewilderment and panic. "Agh! What happened? All I did was walk through that door and, oh God! Where's the door?!? Where is New York City? Is this the future? All I wanted to do was get an Apple Pie…" Burgess sunk into a nearby apple green reproduction of a Danish chair, buried her head in her hands, and began to sob. After a few minutes, she wiped her eyes, lifted her head, and looked at the painting of a giant fingerprint just across from the mod table where she was sitting. She burst into tears. "What is that?" she cried out. There was no answer.

The menu at the 186-seat Chelsea outlet is the same as any other McDonald's. But the differences are stark. The walls are decorated with bold vertical stripes or with what looks like a zebra design but is actually French architect Philippe Avanzi's magnified thumbprint. Tables are of different sizes to accommodate small groups or an informal business meeting — and Hendel said nearby workers have started meeting there.

There are reproductions of Danish designer Arne Jacobsen's chairs including the Egg chair, a classic of mid-century functionality that would look right at home on "The Jetsons."

Not only that, but the new fancypants NYC McDonald's has a series of a beautiful, clear lucite walls around the informal business meeting tables that can descend at the push of a button should a panhandler approach. It's very chic.

Here are a few pictures of the McDonalds of a cartoon about the future:

Illustration for article titled Fancy NYC McDonald's Almost Like Being In Europe
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Is this an okay Thai place? No, it's a McDonalds!

Illustration for article titled Fancy NYC McDonald's Almost Like Being In Europe
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This is basically Milan. Well, a McDonald's in Milan senza il McPink.

Illustration for article titled Fancy NYC McDonald's Almost Like Being In Europe
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Who knew McDonald's wanted to be Pinkberry?

Still, not all McDonald's restaurants in NYC are fancying it up through a complete redesign.

Another New York City McDonald's has a grand piano visible from the street through a second-floor window.

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Elegance = shoving a grand piano in the second floor window. You can learn a lot from McDonald's.

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