Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Disappearing McDonald's

I have noticed a trend in the North Seattle area - we are losing McDonald's restaurants. There used to be four in the Northwest area of Seattle and now there are only two. Both restaurants closed and were replaced with either a larger building or, in the case of the place I was doing some work yesterday morning, it was replaced by an organic non-profit coffeehouse (with free wifi).

The outside of the building still retains a tad bit of the McDonald's architectural flair, but since it's not a stand-alone building, it's not as obvious. The brick wall inside is painted a sort of teal and the other walls have been stuccoed and painted green. Doorways now sport a kind of fancy molding and the tables are a mix of farmhouse wood and old furniture probably acquired from yard sales. Except for the tell-tale floor tile, you have to look hard to see that it's an ex-McDonald's, but it's still there.

What's not there, is the shitty food and service. What's replaced it is organic, fair trade coffee, a board that tells you about the Non Profit Organization of the Month and an area selling native handmade goods from Bangladesh and Northern Uganda.

Disappearing McDonald's? I'm lovin' it.

Have you noticed a decrease in fast food restaurants in your area?


meg said...

I love Green Bean and love they took over the McD space. I noticed the one by U.Village is down too. Not sure if they are replacing it or doing something else.
They are all still alive and well, however, down in west seattle. =(

Rachel B. said...

I haven't seen any mcdonalds closing in my area but I don't see them building new ones. A few years ago a burger king closed near me but was replaced by a equally shitty diner.

Paula said...

I haven't noticed any closing in my area (north of Boston), but they also aren't building any new ones anywhere.

Corinne said...

nope, but we did get a new one.

Greenpa said...

It's very interesting to watch.

I think fast food joints are "sit and wait" predators, like snapping turtles. Or deep sea angler fish.

They kind of lurk on the bottom, looking innocuous; then blow french fry and broiled meat pheromones out into the world, enticing prey within reach. Then they pounce.

Often they'll form clusters; which is to their benefit; they pull in more prey that way. Kind of like sailfish, herding sardines.

They also have lifetimes. As the building ages, and the original manager/owner passes the chores off to the knucklehead nephew, quality goes down hill; profitability declines; a new SuperWally goes up a mile away, forming a new predator cluster around it... the Pizza Hut moves to the new cluster; and poof, they old ones die.

Alas; new ones evolve. I hope you haven't seen this one yet, but we have a new one in our region. Born in Wisconsin; it's "Culver's"; a franchise based on "family business", "fresh custard", and..."ButterBurgers!"

I was revolted by the idea of a butterburger for a long time; eventually I discovered (it was not easy) that the thing consists of.. a burger! with a half pat of alleged butter on the TOP of the bun. Be still, my little culinary cockles.

But they're new. People go just for that. Food is not generally worse than a 5 year old Burger King, and they have chicken tenders. So, what the hay.

Farmer's Daughter said...

My town's one McD's is still there, but 2 banks and a small supermarket have closed. It's pretty frustrating, since I actually miss them!

Lee said...

I like to think that we all reach saturation point with these things, then we move on.

It's like the Cadbury's Chocolate factory here in Dunedin (New Zealand). They let the workers eat as much as they want when they start, so they gluttonize themselves, then they reduce how much they eat to a pretty low level over time quite quickly.

I'm hoping that, as a species, we've gluttonized ourselves on McDonalds (and similar PlastiFood) and are now returning to eating real food.

I hope so!

Sharonnz said...

Sadly, in my town in New Zealand our McDs have been renovated and expanded. Sigh.

Robj98168 said...

Nope. But there have been locally owned small coffee houses and such opening here.

Robyn M. said...

To add to the phenomena, some of us over here in Terre Haute Indiana are attempting to purchase an old McD building and turn it into a local foods co-op. Heheheheeeee!

Anonymous said...

Actually we have just as many McD's in North Seattle - they just moved around a bit. A few became Express versions, attached to other companies (gas stations etc).

Many Burger Kings closed in WA a few years ago due to a long-standing disagreement between franchise owners and Burger King corporate. Corporate was screwing them over, basically, and then punishing them for low sales etc. The franchise owners all simply quit, closed all their restaurants. The few that are opening back up around Seattle are new owners, getting into the business after Corporate finally got the message financially and changed their ways.

Zoo Mommy said...

Wow, that is surprising and very exciting news (to me) to be posted on my birthday!

knutty knitter said...

I've not been in a mcd. I was once given a cheeseburger and I can honestly say I've never tasted anything that bad before.

I prefer the local fish and chip shop.

viv in nz

Oldnovice said...

No change here, and I'm grateful. When we vacation by road trip, the treat of the morning is a bacon, egg & cheese biscuit.

KClowlife said...

Unfortunately McD's remains the top purchaser of ground beef in America. And while I love to see any progress, until I see a serious decline in that statistic I don't think they're really hurting that much.

In the last year their stock has gone from $58 a share to $71 a share.

Billie said...

We have a lost a Pizza Hut and a Taco Bell. I won't miss the Pizza Hut but I do rather miss Taco Bell. I would go there very occasionally for fast food since I don't like McD or BK. As far as I know, it is the only Taco Bell for quite some distance.

Erik said...

I noticed the general lack of almost all fast food places in seattle when I moved to the central district. It's a nice change from southern california...except when you are just hankering for some jack in the box at 2am and you have to drive all the way down to sodo to get some. I just don't understand how people in Seattle can be so against fast food (which is great!) but then everyone goes nuts for Dick's which have got to be 10x worse than McDonald's

Crunchy Chicken said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Zoo Mommy!

Erik - Even though "Dick's is the place where the cool hang out" a la Sir Mix-a-Lot, I can't say I've ever eaten there. Maybe it's because I'm not cool.