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Times Square’s Glitzy, Four-Story McDonald’s Is Shutting Down After 17 Years

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The closure wasn’t related to the pandemic, a spokesperson says

People walk in front of a McDonald’s at Times Square on April 30, 2020 in New York City.
McDonald’s in Times Square
Photo by Eduardo MunozAlvarez / VIEWpress via Getty Images

The gigantic, gaudy McDonald’s that is lit with thousands of marquee light bulbs in Times Square is permanently shutting down, the New York Post reports. A company spokesperson tells the Post that the closure was not related to the pandemic, which has decimated tourist-driven businesses in the high-traffic area.

The spokesperson told the Post that the closure was a “difficult decision,” but didn’t elaborate further on why McDonald’s decided to shut the striking location down. “McDonald’s reviews its restaurant portfolio on a regular basis to make the best decisions for our business moving forward,” the spokesperson said.

The attention-grabbing location of the worldwide fast food chain — designed to look like a Broadway theater from the outside — has been slinging burgers and fries for the past 17 years in the 17,500-square-foot, four-story space. The restaurant was used to test new menu items and kickoff national McDonald’s programs over the years like free in-store WiFi, the store’s original leadership told the Post.

Last year, the company opened up a more modern flagship location two blocks away, at 1528 Broadway, near West 45th Street. The 24-hour location features floor-to-ceiling glass walls on each of the restaurant’s three floors, with a giant McDonald’s billboard sitting on top.

Similar to the rest of the industry, McDonald’s has been struggling with declining sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vast majority of the chain’s sales are now coming from drive-thrus in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports, and the company recently shifted to a limited menu and got rid of all-day breakfast.

In Times Square, the flashy restaurant closed its doors to customers on Tuesday.

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