The flagship McDonald’s in Chicago will use its Rock ‘n’ Roll look for #throwback pictures as it starts to show off a new and improved look! The fast food superstar has upgraded to a 19,000-square-foot restaurant enclosed by 27-foot windows and trees popping out from the roof giving it a futuristic pod aesthetic.
This Thursday, the iconic restaurant will re-open for all those loyal customers of the old setting as well as the newer, younger customers – after all the rebranding is done keeping their taste in mind. However, even with the new look, McDonald’s will keep some of its old values and practices going strong like staying open 24 hours.
As a part of its initiative to modernize all 14,000 restaurants in the US by 2020, McDonald’s has already upgraded to touchscreen ordering, table service, and food delivery at some of its locations. Chicago has been the only lucky one to have VIP access to all the new features like flatscreen menus, faster WiFi, a global menu and more inside the ground floor of the chic West Loop HQ. They also have McCafe which is a separate counter with premium barista-grade coffee and pastries for the constantly on-the-go generation.
The second floor isn’t accessible to customers just yet, but there’s a mini-arboretum in the middle of the restaurant above the gauntlet of touchscreens. Staff will light those trees during the winter holiday season. McDonald’s video footage showed crews airdropping the trees from the roof in the industrial designed landscape.
This historic McDonald’s was given its makeover by Chicago-based firm Ross Barney Architects who also earned the impressive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for it. Sustainability-focused elements come in the form of energy-efficient wireless charging and outlets at shared tables, a garden in the dining room, over 70 trees at ground level, on-site solar panels, and harvestable apple trees on the kitchen roof truly making it an example for all restaurants to change their ways for a happier future on our planet.
“It kind of reminds me that McDonald’s is very young and very creative, it’s a forward-thinking, growth-oriented company.” said franchise owner/operator Nick Karavites, who also runs the West Loop location that will continue catering to school groups from out of town, but the design is meant to make the restaurant more compelling to the younger audience who may not relate to the previous outdated look of the company.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s location was a beloved restaurant that dates back to 1983. Local musician Wesley Willis even wrote a song about it! Chicago location is the company’s flagship on an iconic site that represents the very best of what McDonald’s stands for making it the first choice for the revamp. Go in this Thursday, you might just find the Jetsons eating there!