If you watched The Founder, or just understand and appreciate successful large-scale business strategy, then you'll know that one of the reasons why fast-food giant McDonald's is so darn successful is because their restaurant experiences are pretty much identical worldwide. At least in theory.
Sure, the food might be done a bit better in some locations as opposed to others; the one on Clay Street, in Vicksburg Mississippi is the best I've ever eaten at, hands down.
But the experience is more or less the same whenever you step inside a Mickey D's or head into the drive-thru, down to the very chairs and wall art in said locations. Sure, there are some locations that are not as updated as others, but they all more or less fit somewhere in the McDonald's design timeline.
Then there are some spots that look like they could be someone's colonial home in a suburban neighborhood.
Or like this McDonald's in Freeport, Maine that Twitter user @katrinkanova says "looks like a funeral home [on the] outside and a retirement home [on the inside].
Just take a look at it and tell me that she isn't at least kinda right.
While the exterior of some locations, due to local building restrictions and guidelines might result in variations from McDonald's to McDonald's, surely the interiors will more or less be typical of what you'd expect whenever you step inside.
But the Freeport McDonald's design cues indoors are just as out of place as its New England home outside. It looks like a diner you'd see in No Country for Old Men.
If you're still scratching your head as to why someone would build a McDonald's that appears to have been placed inside an 1850 historical home, that's because it literally is.
That's due to Freeport's strict local building laws that prohibited the fast-food chain from dropping in a restaurant that would "ruin" the general aesthetic of the town, which is why McDonald's just decided to purchase and remodel a classic structure.
I know, it's ridiculous, what could be more classic than a red and yellow spot with a ball-pit and slides that serves up Big Macs?
Freeport's local governing body was conflicted about whether or not they'd allow the chain to subject the Gore House to this kind of treatment in 1984, but ultimately caved.
The Gore House was built some 170 years ago by William Gore, a very wealthy Freeport merchant, which the town's historical society calls "a mix of Greek Revival and Italianate architecture."
Most people who see the building just can't believe how odd it would be to get a 20 pc McNuggets meal and eat it in the Gore House, but as it turns out, it isn't the only McDonald's to feature sure out-of-place architecture. Well, out of place for a McDonald's, for that matter.
The McDonald’s in New Hyde Park, NY, called Denton House. Built in 1795 as a farmhouse, remodeled in ~1860 into a mansion. McDonald’s wanted to demolish it in ‘85 but residents fought for 3 years to secure historic designation pic.twitter.com/WHxalXzIjN— Chelsea the Park Hopper (@parkhopperco) May 9, 2020
There's another one in Hyde Park, New York called the Denton House and it's even older than William Gore's home. Built-in 1795, McDonald's wanted to level the home but in 1985, just a year after it acquired its Freeport spot, local residents strove to have the home listed as a historic location which would save it from demolition.
My grandparents used to take me here as a little girl and it absolutely mystified me— Chelsea the Park Hopper (@parkhopperco) May 9, 2020
Their efforts were successful and now folks in the area of having the pleasure of soaking up some history right before they suffer the disappointment of being told the ice cream machine is out of order.
It didn't take long for folks to share some of the other "bizarre" McDonald's locations all over America.
It's no secret that the franchises' menu changes in different parts of the globe and of course, the restaurants' design choices are going to be catered towards specific cultures. But that still doesn't change the fact that it's jarring to see just how different some of them are.
Feast your eyes on more strange McDonald's spots below.
OK, there are way more "abnormal" McDonald's franchises than I could have ever imagined and now I want to visit each and every single one.