We bid farewell to the defrocked McDonald's flagship in Times Square

Illustration for article titled We bid farewell to the defrocked McDonald's flagship in Times Square
Photo: Rob Kim (Getty Images)

Seventeen years ago, McDonald’s opened a splashy 17,500-square-foot restaurant just a few steps away from Times Square in New York City. To the company, it was known as a flagship location that got to witness such milestones as the introduction of Paul Newman’s salad dressings, but to locals, it was known for its easily accessible bathrooms and plentiful electrical outlets. It was also the unofficial dressing room for countless (also unofficial) costumed characters, who could often be found hanging out in the rear dining room without their heads on. Now, the New York Post reports, McDonald’s has decided to shutter that famous location because nothing is sacred.


The good news, I suppose, is that McDonald’s says this has nothing to do with coronavirus or the impending Restaurantpocolypse. Last year, the iconic restaurant was stripped of its flagship status, which was given to a younger, sexier McDonald’s that was built a few blocks north on Times Square itself. The new location is ultra-modern, with 18 self-ordering kiosks, table service, and extremely comfortable chairs. At a mere 7,000 square feet it’s a quite a bit smaller than the former flagship, but when you factor in that the real estate was going for $2,000 per square foot, downsizing doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea.

Allison Robicelli is a JBFA-nominated food & humor writer, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Need cooking advice? Tweet me @Robicellis.



ugh.  I’m not one of those bound-by-nostalgia types who thinks everything was better the way it was when I was a kid, but I really don’t care for the look of the new location.  Everyone just has to copy Apple and make their buildings austere glass boxes now.