CHICAGO – McDonald’s has replaced its Rock ‘n’ Roll restaurant in Chicago with a futuristic, 19,000-square-foot eatery, Eater Chicago reports. The 24-hour location, which opened yesterday, boasts touchscreen ordering as well as traditional counter service.
The move is part of the burger chain’s initiative to revamp all of its 14,000 U.S. restaurants by 2020. So far, 5,000 have been modernized, although the Chicago restaurant has more bells and whistles than the average location will get.
For example, the Chicago location has flatscreen menus, lots of plugs for customers to recharge devices and fast Wi-Fi. A separate coffee counter offers pastries and a quicker line for customers just wanting a cup of joe. The second floor—not open to customers—has a small arboretum with real trees that were airdropped from the roof. Employees will add holiday lights to the trees during the winter. Solar energy provides about 60% of the restaurant’s power.
“It kind of reminds me that McDonald’s is very young and very creative,” said franchise owner/operator Nick Karavites. “It’s forward-thinking and it’s a growth company.”
McDonald’s will open an additional seven new locations in the city by 2020, plus bring the rest of Chicago locations into the 21st century. The fast food chain celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac this month.