There's a new restaurant on 6th Avenue and 15th Street. Text on its gleaming, glassy exterior describes it as: welcoming, playful, roots, heritage, SECOND HOME, authentic, REAL...
Inside you'll find mid-century modern furnishings, including seating inspired by Arne Jacobsen's biomorphic Egg and Swan chairs of 1958.
The walls are decorated with playful cubes and colorful stripes in sage, olive, and terra cotta. Flat-screen televisions hang mounted over the dining tables.
What is this trendy new hotspot--yet another Momofuku? A black flag printed with a pair of golden arches flies over the entrance. It's a McDonald's.
The new look was announced in 2006, described in BusinessWeek as "iPod clean" with a dining area "separated into three sections with distinct personalities. The 'linger' zone will offer comfortable armchairs, sofas, and Wi-Fi connections..."
Yes, the linger zone.
Haven't we already gotten through the phase where everything has to look like a West Elm/Design Within Reach catalog?
This Starbucks-chasing, upscale redesign worked in Europe when it was launched in 2007, but how will it go over in recession New York (where it feels a bit late)? Anyway, if you're worried about losing your old, grimy, depressing McDonald's to the fashionistas, fear not--the colors and textures may have changed, but the grease-slicked gloom remains the same.
P.S. At the recent Fashion Week, you could buy Ronald McDonald's gloves in an haute couture version.