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A sleek new McDonald’s is replacing the chain’s former Rock ’n’ Roll restaurant

Zach Long

The River North lot that hosted the recently demolished Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's won't remain vacant for long. The Chicago Tribune revealed renderings of the new building at Clark and Ontario Streets that will house the fast-food chain's flagship restaurant, which is expected to open this spring. 

A clean break from the aesthetic of every other McDonald's location, the nearly 19,000-square-foot restaurant seems to be inspired by the bright, contemporary design of Apple Stores. The sleek new design comes courtesy of Ross Barney Architects—best known as co-designers of the Chicago Riverwalk.

The restaurant will feature an expansive pedestrian plaza with outdoor seating, as well as more than 70 trees surrounding the new building and its distinctive zig-zagging awning. Portions of the restaurant's roof will also host vegetation, including a suspended garden of ferns and white birch trees that is a prominent part of the interior decor. 

While customers will still be able to order at the counter, the new McDonald's will also feature self-order touchscreen kiosks and the ability to order ahead using the chain's mobile app. A release mentions that the restaurant will also incorporate greeter and table service positions, which suggests that a casual sit-down dining experience may also be in the cards.

Check out the futuristic design (which is completely devoid of rock memorabilia) of the new River North McDonald's restaurant below. 

Illustration: Courtesy McDonald's

Illustration: Courtesy McDonald's

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