The new McDonald's in Chelsea is much improved. Not the food, dummy: The ambience. It's the first in America to undergo what the AP calls "a sleek, European-style makeover". Come, let us explore this wonderful place.
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.
Over here, past walls decorated with "what looks like zebra design but is actually French architect Phillippe Avanzi's magnified thumbprint," we have a woman who is easily impressed:
"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."
We're guessing most of those other double-taking patrons weren't thinking "It's beautiful" but "The fuck happened to this McDonald's?"
Now, if you walk past these "reproductions of Danish designer Arne Jacobsen's chairs," you will notice some unhealthy-looking businessmen on their laptops. This is because, as McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud told the AP:
"People are using our restaurants differently today than they did five, 10, 20 years ago. People are multi-tasking, doing more on a given day. ... You want to be able to open your laptop, log on and get some work done while you're eating."
Expect more emails from your boss like this: "John, those invoices need to be on my desk when I get back. -Bob ***SENT FROM MCDONALD'S***"
Yes, the new Chelsea McDonald's is basically the Versailles of fast food restaurants. And McDonald's is spending more than $1 billion to renovate its other restaurants so we can all eat in such splendor. But watch out, McDonald's!
McDonald's is not alone in seeking to update its image. Rival Burger King announced plans last month to overhaul its 12,000 locations with industrial-inspired corrugated metal and brick walls.
It's all about choice: Do you want to eat gross food in Europe, or in a music video from the early nineties?