If sleek is what you seek, then the new sleek modern furniture and light fixtures. Free Wi-Fi. Comfy colorful, upholstered chairs. Upbeat music in the background, is what you want.You call this a McDonald’s?
Washington Heights has become the city’s second neighborhood to get a new look, European-style McDonald’s and residents are thrilled.
“It’s comfortable. It feels like home. You feel good. You feel like a family here,” said Frank Reynoso, 70, while enjoying his morning coffee and reading the Daily News at the new W. 159th St. and Broadway location, which opened last week and had an official ribbon-cutting yesterday.
“It’s something new in town. The ambience is different – very modern; the decor is very nice. This is more up-to-date,” said Reynoso, recalling wobbly and noisy metal chairs from the McDonald’s that used to be across the street.
“I think the people are going to love it. The feeling is different, even the music,” he said, sitting under a modern light fixture in a comfy upholstered chair while LMFAO’s upbeat song “Party Rock Anthem” played.
The popular fast food chain opened a similar McDonald’s in Chelsea nearly two years ago, and decided to bring the new look to upper Manhattan.
Loretta McDermott, 76, couldn’t stop raving about the furniture in between bites of her sausage biscuit.
“I didn’t expect to see this. I love the furniture. It’s comfortable. It’s for everybody,” said McDermott, who isn’t usually a fan of the changes that have swept the neighborhood.
“The McDonald’s changes are good, but the neighborhood changes are no good,” she said. “You have no middle class anymore. The [rising] rent is running them out of the neighborhood.”
Joseph Martin, 23, a college student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, recently moved to the neighborhood from Miami and he already has plans to use the trendy McDonald’s.
“It’s definitely more edgy than what it was. This reminded me of home,” he said, admiring the colorful decor, and adding he plans to come back to do some schoolwork using the outlets and free-WiFi service.
“It’s really cool for laptops,” he said. “McDonald’s has always been known to serve the youth…I like it.”
Owner Tony Rodriguez started out as a “fry guy” at a Brooklyn McDonald’s while in college. Now, he owns 19 McDonald’s, and he’s excited to give the upper Manhattan community a much-needed boost.
“We designed this to be vibrant, colorful and comfortable for the customers. It’s a nice place for people to feel safe,” he said, hoping his restaurant encourages other area businesses to make renovations. “The area needs a little revival. It gives a sense of stability.”