"You are cordially invited to a VIP cocktail party to celebrate the grand opening of McDonald's of Berlin." That's what the invitation said. I couldn't wrap my mind around the idea. Chicken nuggets with toothpicks? Barbecue dipping sauce Bloody Marys? Who would be there? Why am I invited? My curiosity was too much; I had to go and check it out.
Where the old McDonald's was the same as the thousands of other McDonald's across the country (wood themed tiles and all), the new one is sleek and interesting - even gave me an Ikea feeling. The door was opened by a couple of fellas in tuxedos and inside was a bluegrass band surrounded by flat screen tvs, stacked stone, a fireplace, and plenty of "high class" touches. The play area is all exercised themed, even has an amazing bicycle video game that requires kids to work. Surprisingly none of the food was off the menu, instead it was stuffed mushrooms, bacon wrapped scallops, shrimp cocktail, mini-quiches, etc. The best touch was the bar set up in front of the coke dispensers with the ice chest filled with beer (even Magic Hat). I grabbed a mojito and my coworker ordered a chocolate martini and we schmoozed as if it were a wedding reception. The photos below are proof that it all wasn't some Salvador Dalí-esq dream. Oh, and for all you nerds out there, it even has wi-fi!
The Sea and Cake - The Biz.mp3
UPDATE 9/3/07 6:45 AM
I'm blown away by the hits that this post has generated - most of the credit goes to The Consumerist. We average 200 or so hits a day at this site, but yesterday we had 2,465 visits. That's nearly 2k more then our previous record!
Enough of the gloating. I've received a handful of requests for more photos. Sadly the remaining photos I have are either too blurry (shot of the restaurant seating) or too boring (picture of the DOUBLE drive-thru). Also, I was trying to be a bit incognito at the event, so I took extra effort to keep from snapping pictures that included bystanders. However, our local paper, the Times Argus, has a story in its latest edition about the opening. The amazing shot below is from that article. The caption reads: Gov. James Douglas stands with McDonald's owner Charlie Coughlin, left, and other employees as they recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. Nothing exemplifies misguided patriotism more then the Governor(!) reciting the pledge in front of the golden arches.