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Giant Futuristic McDonald’s With Lots of Trees to Open in Chicago

Rock ‘n’ Roll is dead

The McDonald’s of the future.
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

A 19,000-square-foot eco-friendly McDonald’s will open in Chicago in late spring, replacing the demolished Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s in River North. The futuristic, one-story fast-food restaurant is a mixture of glass and steel, featuring apple trees that will stick out of the restaurant’s roof, according to a news release.

The original Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s was a civic icon since 1983, a tourist attraction that was a tribute to music at 600 N. Clark Street. The Golden Arches knocked that two-story building down and built a two-story restaurant that opened in 2005, moving the music artifacts and adding new ones to the collection. That restaurant closed on December 30. Crews demolished most of the space. The kitchen areas and others remained intact.

A rendering of the eco-friendly McDonald’s coming downtown.

This new restaurant is part of McDonald’s “Experience of the Future” campaign, a way the company is redefining its brand by building new restaurants across the globe, according to a spokesperson. The company’s purging itself of dinosaurs, like the Des Plaines museum, and an old-school restaurant in Portland, Oregon. The new restaurants will feature both touchscreen kiosks and table service, plus integrate the restaurant’s mobile app in new ways. The company sees this as ways to endear itself to younger customers. They want the building to be LEED certified and will used an on-site solar panel array to collect energy. The restaurant will also use energy-efficient HVAC and fans, plus low-oil fryers.

The restaurant also aims to be more friendly to Uber Eats delivery drivers, mobile ordering, and curbside pickups. There will also be an “enhanced” McCafé presence. The dining room will feature 27-foot ceilings.

Customers had to pay to park their cars at the old restaurant. This new restaurant will be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. There will be fewer parking spaces for cars, according to the Tribune which first reported the story.

Architect Carol Ross Barney, who worked on the city’s riverwalk, is involved in the restaurant’s design. A plaza with 70 trees will surround that restaurant.

Take a look a few more renderings below.

A rendering of the new McDonald’s in Downtown Chicago.
Note the trees.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s replacement.
The new restaurant should be more pedestrian friendly.
A rendering of the interiors.
They’ll offer touchscreen kiosks and table service.

Rock 'n Roll McDonald's

600 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654