The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

BAY AREA FANCY GOLDEN ARCHES
like polishing a turd
I'm pretty skeptical of McDonald's continuing plans to fancy up their menu and restaurants. But as long as they're doing it, I might as well be aware of where these upscaled shacks are around Tampa Bay.
The most dramatic outlet is a three-story McD's of brown brick and wrought iron that mimics Ybor's turn-of-the-century market and cigar factories

In a huge photo above the counter, cigar workers of the 1920s sit in endless rows rolling their leaves. Yet inside the new Ybor McDonald's (2101 E 13th Ave., Tampa) modern customers have seating that is varied, casual and abundant, appealing enough for a college student to grab coffee and spread out her homework. The interior is garnished with marble, tile, wood wainscotting and high ceilings, as historically enjoyable as anything on Seventh Avenue.
It's funny: I've noticed this remodeled beauty the last couple of times I've gotten off the interstate going into Ybor. I'm not curious enough to actually go in, especially when they're serving the same old crap.

I find this little feature at the Safety Harbor McDonald's Bistro interesting:
Remodeled with coffee equipment and a pastry case two months ago, this McDonald's also added classier tile and trim, a flat-screen TV and a power wall with phone jacks for the wired-in set.
Phone jacks? The franchisee here is an idiot, because he's just invested in obsolete technology. Especially since McDonald's corporate has committed to offering wi-fi service in its restaurants, thus making the plug-in option superfluous. Nothing like looking cutting-edge, circa 1998!