About six years ago, McDonald’s set out to give itself a face-lift in the form of contemporary interior design in some of its European restaurants, ridding itself of ambiance that said “cheap food, fast.” The new look included Scandinavian design—everything from curved leather sofas to replicas of Arne Jacobsen chairs. And eventually, the new design moved stateside, customized for different markets. There was feng shui design in Southern California and a sleek, boutique-style dining area in Chelsea, complete with Danish furniture and WiFi (That clown? Nowhere in sight).
Now, the burger chain—known for super sizing, not contemporizing—has brought its new look to the Strip at Harmon, where it opened Metro McDonald’s earlier in April, complete with faux-graffiti murals and faux-brick walls, globe chandeliers, lofted seating, WiFi access and the same food that’s served at every other Mickey D’s. The 24-hour eatery looks more like a sleek airport cafe than the swivel-chaired McRestaurants that have become synonymous with American life. Cushioned bar stools and benches in muted orange, green and purple carry the minimal contemporary look, and Eames-style orange and black chairs keep you from being tethered to the table. In fact, if it weren’t for the gentle aroma of grease and ground beef, you’d know not where you were.