McDonald's Corp. has broken fast food lovers' hearts when the company announced it will be closing the museum replicating its first ever restaurant.
Ray Kroc erected his first restaurant in 1955 in Des Plaines, Chicago after he franchised the brand from its owners, Richard and Maurice McDonald, the Associated Press reports. The brothers founded the fast food joint in 1940, which was first conceived as a barbecue restaurant.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the original store was torn down in 1984, but the McDonald’s Store No. 1 Museum opened up the following year, with the original restaurant’s sign still in tact.
McDonald's said the reason behind the closure was due to the lack tourism, which declined following the museum's repeated flooding since 2008. While the interior was closed off to viewers, they were still allowed to peek inside the site's windows to see the authentic decor.
"The re-created restaurant… has not regularly welcomed visitors since closing to the public 10 years ago," McDonald’s said in a statement. "This combined with the building’s location and feasibility to reopen and maintain it led us to this decision."
McDonald's said it plans to destroy the museum next month, and donate the empty lot to the city of Des Plaines.
However, all hope may not be lost for the museum's die hard fans.
The Northwest Herald reports The Volo Auto Museum has offered to relocate the site to Volo.
"We have been contacted by numerous residents about the closing and demolition of the Des Plaines McDonalds Museum with pleas to save it and relocate it in Volo. We love the idea!" it said in a Facebook post. "We’ve reached out to McDonalds headquarters hoping there is an agreement that could be made."
The Volo Auto Museum asked the town's residents to cast their votes to decide if the landmark should be saved. So far, the response has been an overwhelming "yes."
"We’re hopeful they [McDonald's Corp.] will contact us with enthusiasm to work a deal with us," the post added.
Would you want to see the McDonald's museum?