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Old 09-15-2007, 09:12 PM
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Do McDonald's franchises ever go out of business?


Off the top of my head, I can't recall ever seeing one boarded up.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by zeno
Off the top of my head, I can't recall ever seeing one boarded up.
IME, they don't get boarded up, but they do become the property of McDonald's corporation. Those greedy bastards. Oops, did I say that out loud.

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Old 09-15-2007, 09:15 PM
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As the company prepares to close 517 underperforming restaurants worldwide this year,
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/s...10/story2.html (year was 2003)

Quote:
McDonald's is closing.
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/liv...kind_of_place/

Last edited by Gfactor; 09-15-2007 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zeno
Off the top of my head, I can't recall ever seeing one boarded up.
Of course they do.

One Canadian franchise saw it better to close up shop than see its employees unionize.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gfactor
Quote:
As the company prepares to close 517 underperforming restaurants worldwide this year,
http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/s...10/story2.html (year was 2003)
One that got the ax that year was on one of my routes to work, at I-30 and 19th street in Grand Prairie. I used to stop there on occasion for a biscuit sandwich and a cup of coffee on my way in. Not often enough, I guess ...
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:25 PM
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There was one just a couple minutes drive from where I live, on Route 202 (north) just past the King of Prussia mall in Montgomery* County, Pennsylvania. Used to drive past it on the way to my old job. Closed up about a year and a half ago.
Last I saw, they still haven't sold the property. I never understood why they went out of business as it's a pretty good location, and it's easy to get in and out of since it's at the corner of an intersection. I suspect whoever buys the property will bulldoze the building, because you can't look at it without thinking "fast-food joint."

*I think. I'm a little fuzzy on where the line between Montgomery and Chester (my county) is.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:33 PM
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I can think of two that closed and were boarded up in the general Akron area over the last 20 years. They made, in my opinion, a poor choice of location. The fact that other fast food operations in the same multi-block area have also closed, would support that.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:44 PM
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There was one around here that went out of business about 15 years ago. It's was derelict for awhile, but finally was torn down for a Duncan Donuts.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:52 PM
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One closed down in Kingston, Ontario, where I grew up. The growth of the city simply made the location less desirable than it had previously been; other locations were opened up elsewhere to reflect the shifting population and traffic.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:01 PM
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The one down the road from me went out of business several years ago and was boarded up for a good six months before someone else took over the site.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:19 PM
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The only boarded-up McDonalds I've ever seen was in a really seedy part of Detroit. I figure they probably got robbed too many times or something.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:30 PM
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There used to be one in the Dobie Mall on the corner of 21st and Guadalupe in Austin, Texas. No idea why it closed, but it was one of the darker McDonald's I've ever ventured into. There's a Mickey D's on MLK and San Antonio now.

...but a good question, you don't see many...
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H3Knuckles
I suspect whoever buys the property will bulldoze the building, because you can't look at it without thinking "fast-food joint."
We had a Taco Bell up the road that closed, and they put a new facade on, repainted it, and turned it into some local chain. You wouldn't guess that it was a Taco Bell. Still fast food though... that's tougher to change from, unless you gut the inside too.
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:49 AM
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Since the OP has been answered, a slight hijack:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSG Schwartz
Those greedy bastards.
How do you figure? They have cheap food. Aren't they just successful?
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:50 AM
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There is the now abandoned McDonald's Friendship 500 Floating Restaurant from Expo '86 in Vancouver, BC:
Quote:
Their flagship restaurant at Expo 86 was built more in the style of a bistro than a McDonald's. Because it was a costly venture, the McDonalds was built as a floating restaurant so it could be easily moved to another location.

The McBarge featured garden rooms, tasteful art and panoramic views of Expo 86. A unique feature to this McDonald's was a hidden kitchen. Burgers and fries were delivered to the front counter by way of a conveyer belt.

After the fair, the company wanted to find a permanent home for the McBarge but all proposed sites were turned down. Today, the McBarge is anchored just offshore in Burrard Inslet.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:51 PM
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There was a McDonalds in the Valley which recently became a Wendy's. Thank God for that, McDonalds sucks.

There's also a nearby Taco Bell that was shut down, and the building was demolished...then it was rebuilt, exactly the same. Maybe it's a little bit bigger, I don't know. Reminds me of the final scene in The Jerk.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:40 PM
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An interesting piece of trivia - the very first McDonald's in Australia, in the Sydney suburb of Yagoona (opened in the early 70s, IIRC) has been long, long closed. I've been in the area since about 1991, and it wasn't there then. There's no trace of it, and I don't even know where it was. Yagoona only has a KFC now.

There are some folks who maintain that the national heritage body, the National Trust - a group more commonly thought of as preserving colonial buildings - should have stepped in to save it as a piece of modern social history.

There have been others I'm aware of. The one in the arty/studenty/gay inner suburb of Newtown closed a few years ago. Going there was the first time I realised all Mcdonald's burgers are NOT the same - these were stale and the cheese had that translucent reheated look. I wasn't surprised to see it go.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:43 PM
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I seem to recall there was a McDonald's "restaurant" on the Orient Express, back in the 90s. Was that true? Is it still going?
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Old 09-16-2007, 03:18 PM
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The McDonald's in Ashland, OR closed down a few years ago for lack of business. Anyone who knows that town will understand why- the confluence of the wine industry, Southern Oregon University, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has created one of the yuppiest places I've ever seen.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:01 PM
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There was a McDonald's for many years at the corner of Atwater and Ste Catherine in downtown Montreal, near the old Montreal Forum. It was extremely busy during the 1976 Olympics, for example. It closed a few years ago when another McDonald's opened in the Alexis-Nihon mall across the street. The original McDonad's is now a Japanese restaurant, I believe.

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Old 09-16-2007, 06:04 PM
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The MacDonald's in Assembly Square Mall in Somerville, MA closed when everything (except the K-mart) in the mall closed. It was, however, one of the last things in the mall to go.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:14 PM
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The McDonald's in San Ysidro, CA was closed almost immediately after the massacre there in 1984.

The one in downtown Bellevue, WA (one of the older ones - my father was a management trainee there in the mid 1960s) was closed, the building turned into a Fatburger. However it was a poor location for a restaurant that requires either a lot of parking or a drive-through, neither of which it had nor could have, due to local building codes.

The closure of McDonald's restaurants is rare, all the same. Unlike say...Skippers, which is almost entirely defunct now as a chain.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:38 PM
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Closed and bulldozed, maybe they sowed the ground with salt on Markham, near Fair Park in Little Rock, AR. Down the street from a Wendy's, near a fancy sandwich joint. After a year or so, there is heavy equipment there apparently preparing a foundation of some sort.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don't fight the hypothetical
Since the OP has been answered, a slight hijack:

How do you figure? They have cheap food. Aren't they just successful?
I'm just biased, I guess. I was a shift manager at a McDonald's. The franchise owner had nine stores. Professionally, I guess he was a good guy, personally, he was a skirt chasing alcoholic, but he was approachable. His district manager would take care of issues with the staff by talking to the person with the problem and the manager and try to find a solution to the problem.

Well, the owner decided to sell the stores that he had. When corporate took over the managers had to work a minimum of 50 scheduled hours. When I say scheduled, I mean that 1pm to an 11pm closing would be your ten hours, but you still had to be there for at least 90 minutes to close the store. Part time employees had to work whatever shifts they were given, and all included a weekend. The fact that some of our employees were single moms and could only work when they had child care was not considered. If you missed two shifts, I had to fire you. Cashiers had to pay back their shortages. The law required that even the employee still had to make minimum wages with the repayment, fine. I was not allowed to release the following paycheck until the person repaid the debt. We were also in the business of cashing employee paychecks to collect on register debts.

Those are just a few examples.

I hate those people, but I do love a double cheeseburger for $1

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Old 09-16-2007, 10:12 PM
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The first one I heard of closing was in Downtown Lynn, Mass., in the '70safter local winos, etc., frequented the place all night. The next one was in a small southeastern city after a highway widening project built a median across its frontage in the '70's, preventing left turns in and out. A Mexican restaurant now survives there. A Burger King on the other side of the road also bit the dust, as did a Ded Lobster.

Last edited by Ignatz; 09-16-2007 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by RickJay
One closed down in Kingston, Ontario, where I grew up. The growth of the city simply made the location less desirable than it had previously been; other locations were opened up elsewhere to reflect the shifting population and traffic.
I know the one you mean, on Bath Road, just east of Portsmouth.
It's a Pizza Pizza franchise now, we ate there during lunch breaks from the college 20 years ago.

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Old 09-17-2007, 03:39 AM
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A McDonald's closed in Victorville, Ca, but a much bigger one opened a couple blocks away closer to the freeway exit. Same owners, I bet.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:43 AM
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Shortly after a BK opened in Altrincham town centre close to me the McDonalds went tits up.

I have to say I much prefer BK and so it seems do most others around here.
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Old 09-17-2007, 05:30 AM
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At least two of them have closed down in Brisbane - my mother bought the front doors of the old Stafford City store to use in a semi*-legal house extension. Very fine they looked, too.


mm


* by semi, I mean Il
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:43 AM
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A McDonalds is one of the two businesses I really thought were a money spinner, the other being a shop that was 10 minutes walk away from a school and at the back entrance to the university.

Both of them were in easy distance for students and the McD's was opposite a big night club to catch the boozed up drinkers. Thinking about it though, an awful lot of small takeaways have come and gone from there, the only three survivors being a KFC, a Bishops (fish n chips franchise) and the might Spuds that truly does serve the most delicious takeaway food whether you're sober or not.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:15 AM
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A McDonald's in my hometown (Morgantown, WV) closed some time in the late 1980s-early 1990s. The downtown area where it was located had been seeing lots of businesses leave for the suburbs. The area late underwent a gentrified revival -- not particularly amenable to a McDonald's.

There are still several McDonaldses (sic) in the area. I'm not sure if any is owned by the people who closed up the downtown one.
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:29 AM
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I've seen a McDonalds or two close up, but I think it was always because of changing traffic, demographics, a poorly-chosen location, etc. This thread pretty much echoes what I've seen.

But has anyone seen an area where McDonalds just leaves? That is, they had ten stores in the northern part of your city, and now there are none? Has McDonalds ever just plain failed badly in a city or a region? It makes sense that a franchise has to relocate from time to time. If the franchise at the corner of Pine and Center closes, but another one opens a mile away, where there's now a lot more traffic because of the new mall, that's normal. But has anyone seen McD bomb badly in an entire area?
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:59 AM
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There's a McD's on I-45 at Sawdust Road, just north of Houston, that closed recently, but that's the first one I remember seeing shut down in years. Not sure why, either, as it seemed both fairly recently-built and quite busy. Others nearby, on less well-traveled routes, remain open.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:21 AM
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A few years ago, the McDonalds on Broad Street closed in downtown Columbus, Ohio. This location didn't have a drive thru and often had agressive panhandlers outside. Interestingly, the first Wendy's restaurant which was located very close to that McDonalds, also closed recently.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunar Saltlick
But has anyone seen an area where McDonalds just leaves?
McD's pulled out of Jamaica, if that helps: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magaz..._JAMAICA__.asp

And had mass closings in the Middle East and Latin America: http://www.govegantexas.org/news_02-...ldsreuters.php
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:27 AM
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Both of them were in easy distance for students and the McD's was opposite a big night club to catch the boozed up drinkers.
I bet the employees love that! And they don't even get tips like Waffle House or Aunt Sarah's Pancake House.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:35 AM
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Twenty years ago there was one on West 117th in Cleveland between Lorain Road and Bellaire Road, which closed and became a family restaurant.

Last edited by zamboniracer; 09-17-2007 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by F. U. Shakespeare
A McDonald's in my hometown (Morgantown, WV) closed some time in the late 1980s-early 1990s. The downtown area where it was located had been seeing lots of businesses leave for the suburbs. The area late underwent a gentrified revival -- not particularly amenable to a McDonald's.

There are still several McDonaldses (sic) in the area. I'm not sure if any is owned by the people who closed up the downtown one.
Slight hijack -- one of the weirder franchise sites I've seen was in Jamestown, NY in the early 80's. An Arby's opened up in what must have been a former small local business with a classic walk-up residence upstairs from it. It was only as wide as your average small shopowners place (e.g. tiny record store, shoe repairs, etc.) and not a lot of eating room on the first floor, but you could walk up to the second story to eat as well. I thought it was weird then, and still think it's weird, since the configuration of downtown Jamestown doesn't seem particularly amenable to fast food locations.

Then again, the place wasn't and is not gentrified, and at least in the early 80's the downtown had not completely died out as a target for blue collar commercial shopping.

I don't think that Arby's is still in business. But the McDonalds a little ways down the road from the Ball Museum, right next to where the old Ames used to be, is still thriving. But it's right next to a mall, and I don't think I've seen McDonalds that are right next to a mall, strip or not, close.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:41 AM
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Recently, there was a news item about a McDonalds in some Wyoming boom town where the local mine (?) made the area so prosperous that nobody wanted to work at McDonalds. The manager upped the wages to $10/hr, resulting in nothing but angry phone calls from the owners of every other local restaurant. I could see them closing soon.

Sorry I don't have a cite, but it was definitely within the past three months.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by H3Knuckles
There was one just a couple minutes drive from where I live, on Route 202 (north) just past the King of Prussia mall in Montgomery* County, Pennsylvania. Used to drive past it on the way to my old job. Closed up about a year and a half ago.
Last I saw, they still haven't sold the property. I never understood why they went out of business as it's a pretty good location, and it's easy to get in and out of since it's at the corner of an intersection. I suspect whoever buys the property will bulldoze the building, because you can't look at it without thinking "fast-food joint."

*I think. I'm a little fuzzy on where the line between Montgomery and Chester (my county) is.
I've been to that one, back in 1999. I coulda sworn that that McDonald's closed for a while in 2000 or so.

(I seem to recall that the county line is just south of I-76 on Rt 202. But I threw out my old maps not too long ago.)
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:14 PM
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There's a number of two-storey McDonalds places in Toronto as well. One like Ludovic describes, with the second floor as eating space, is at the corner of Bloor and Runnymede, just outside the Runnymede subway station.

Another two-storey McD's is on Bloor just across from the Royal Ontario Museum, but it's in a classic 1970's-style terra-cotta-brick-and-tile building with recessed entrance, split-level floor plan and all.

That whole block along the north side of Bloor is an odd mix: a couple of high-end hotels, an office building or two, and a jumble of fast-food eateries and small shops.

Across the road are the museum, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the parklike Philosopher's Walk that gives access to the University of Toronto, and Varsity Staduim, all of which are being or have been renovated or rebuilt. Just to the east is the ritzy ultra-expensive shopping districts of Yorkville and the "Platinum Kilometre" along Bloor.

As a result, the west end of the block, which had a Harvey's, a psychic, a French cafe, the local Krishna Copy, a couple of convenience stores, and a bunch of other places, was all closed and torn down. Now an expensive and snooty condominium tower is going in.

Since this condo will serve as the other ritzy bookend for the block, dramatically increasing the peer pressure of ritziness, I figure it won't be long until that McDonalds closes or is drastically renovated.
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:14 PM
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McD's pulled out of Jamaica, if that helps: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magaz..._JAMAICA__.asp

And had mass closings in the Middle East and Latin America: http://www.govegantexas.org/news_02-...ldsreuters.php
Interesting articles. Looks like it's usually a case of bad planning or moving too quickly. The second article states that while 175 restaurants would close in 2002, 600 would open in 2003! If they don't work here, open 'em up over there. A total of 1617 stores in Latin America, and 30,000 worldwide. The mind boggles...
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:20 PM
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Not a McDonalds, but I wonder how often this situation comes up: a local Burger King closed down when the lease on the land was up and a new one built down the street, because it was cheaper to build a new building than try to retrofit the old one to the newer BK specs.

Makes me wonder how many own the land the franchises are built on.
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:03 PM
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There's a former McDonald's on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh that's been gutted and turned into a men's clothing store. They kept all the architecture though, right down to the tan faux-brick tiles outside.

On the topic of fast-food restaurants, North Carolina seems to be littered with boarded up or converted Hardees.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:27 PM
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The last McDonald's in Trinidad and Tobago, located in Port of Spain, was boarded up while I lived there. One of many positive things I have to say about TnT.
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Old 09-18-2007, 07:23 AM
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There's a former McDonald's on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh that's been gutted and turned into a men's clothing store. They kept all the architecture though, right down to the tan faux-brick tiles outside.

On the topic of fast-food restaurants, North Carolina seems to be littered with boarded up or converted Hardees.
There's a (very bad) Chinese take-out right down the street from me in what had to have been a Checkers -- small store with double pull-through and tiled walls, even has race flags barely covered with sheeting.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:48 AM
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The first McDonald’s I ever went to, in Naperville IL, closed up because it was built without a drive up window. It’s since been replaced by bunch more stores. The old location is now one of those “Bars of Death” that no matter what opens in the new building, it’ll be gone inside of a month or two.
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:55 AM
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The first one I heard of closing was in Downtown Lynn, Mass., in the '70safter local winos, etc., frequented the place all night.
Yep, a little before I moved to Lynn. I knew folks who lived there at the time, and they would say that it was the first McD's that ever had to close its doors. With a certain amount of humorous pride, I must say. And yet, not far away was the Capitol Diner, very much in operation to this day.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:00 AM
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Not a McDonalds, but I wonder how often this situation comes up: a local Burger King closed down when the lease on the land was up and a new one built down the street, because it was cheaper to build a new building than try to retrofit the old one to the newer BK specs.

Makes me wonder how many own the land the franchises are built on.
McDonald's did that near here - on NW Highway in Arlington Heights - they closed one building and built one right next to it. The old one is now a closed restaurant of another type. There's a Burger King (new one) right next to it.

ETA - I think, if I remember correctly, there is a two story McDonald's (it might be a Burger King - I haven't been down there in ages) downtown somewhere on Michigan Ave, kinda near Water Tower.

Last edited by Missy2U; 09-18-2007 at 10:01 AM.
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