We've heard of McMansions but we never thought we'd actually see a McDonald's operating out of a real mansion! Spotted by Scouting NY in Long Island on a street lined with the typical suburban architectural waste (aka big box retailers), the peculiar gem serves up Big Macs and super-sized fries. We can't really defend the heinous food served there but it's pretty impressive that this New Hyde Park McDonald’s is housed in a landmark Georgian mansion whose structure dates all the way back to 1795.
The structure, better known as the Denton House (before it became known as the local Micky D’s), was originally constructed in the late 18th century as a farmhouse by the descendants of Presbyterian minister Richard Denton. In 1860, the house was revamped, and throughout the 1900s it was used as everything from a funeral home to other restaurants. After changing hands numerous times, the mansion eventually fell into disrepair and was boarded up until it found an unlikely owner in the later part of the ’80s.
McDonald’s was initially intent on knocking down the home and replacing it with one of their standard restaurant structures. But given the home’s history in the town, citizens were not happy with the plan and began lobbying against the fast food giant. After some strong words, the townspeople managed to secure landmark status for the building in 1987. McDonald’s then was required to restore the property, and any updates had to fall within the parameters of the landmarks commission. The home was ultimately reconstructed to its 1926 appearance based on an archival photograph, and a drive-thru was added on the side of the house. What resulted from their efforts could easily be qualified as the most beautiful McDonald’s the world over.
Today the restaurant boasts the original glassed-in veranda for dining inside, shuttered windows for a classic flare, a grand staircase to welcome diners to the second floor, and brick chimneys and plenty of ornamentation to decorate the exterior. The interior however features many of Mc Donald’s familiarities — backlit signs, banners emblazoned with dollar specials, rubbery booths, and all.
While we still wouldn’t jump at the chance to take a bite into some pink slime (or former pink slime), we will say that if we ever happen to find ourselves in this part of Long Island, we’ll definitely stop by.