When you think of elegant dining, McDonald’s probably doesn’t come to mind, but check out this super classy fast food location and you might just change your mind.
The lack of the classic golden arches at this McDonald’s is just the first of many décor changes that most people wouldn’t expect. Step inside the Freeport, Maine McDonald’s, built inside a 150 year old mansion once owned by William Gore, who once lived in the town.
It’s pretty impressive, to say the least. The reason for the distinct departure from the typical look of the fast food chain had to do with the residents of the town. Basically, a McDonald’s really wouldn’t fit in with the quaint feeling of Freeport.
Back in 1984, Stephen Leroy, manager of the McDonald’s media team, said: “What we are doing there is something we probably have never done before in terms of design and the amount of time and effort involved.
He added: “We are willing to spend the money to make it compatible with the area, the history, the community and the people who live there.”
Inside the mansion, the McDonald’s dining room looks elegant with wooden dining tables and chairs, blinds, and potted plants. Of course, it’s not easy to make every element of the restaurant stylish, so the condiment area and drink machines look pretty standard.
With the fancier décor and Maine location, a lobster roll is featured on the menu, something not seen nationwide.
Those commenting about the McDonald’s on social media weighed in with notes like: “Been here several times and the lobster rolls are quite good,” and “It’s true. Right up the street from LL Bean.”
Not everyone was so impressed with the fast food franchise setting up shop in a beautiful old mansion, however, with one commenter noting: “Appalling degradation of a gorgeous property. But McDonald’s is in the real estate business, after all.”
Another person added: “William Gore would’ve burned the house down if he would’ve known of this future atrocity,” while one commenter questioned: “Honestly why would they do this?? Should have just let it be as it is to preserve its history but they changed it into a Mcdonald’s, like really??
Yet another commenter was pretty certain that, given the age of the home, there’s probably a fair amount of haunting in the mix: “Am sure there is a ghost somewhere in the building.”
Another person noted how a similar setup ended up being a poor choice for a historic building, explaining, “They did the same thing in Lewiston, NY but the ventilation ruined the walls of the historic building.”
Some debated the cost of a lobster roll ($8.99), with one person explaining, “lobster is generally pretty expensive. And considering this is in Maine where the lobster is likely very authentic it’s worth it.”
One person explained another similar setup, writing: “There’s a McDonald’s on Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park, NY that is also in a converted mansion. It was the Charred Oak Manor restaurant for decades before McDonald’s bought it and cleaned it up roughly 20 years ago.”