Rock ‘n’ roll McDonald’s gets overhaul as chain caters to modern tastes

CHICAGO -- The era of rock 'n' roll is over on the corner of Clark and Ontario, as an iconic McDonald's is torn apart to make way for a sleeker, greener flagship restaurant.

Heaps of metal are now piled high where the iconic golden arches used to stand. Elvis and the Supremes are packed away. Replacing the murals and record labels from the past will be a super-sized nod to the future.

"I'm a rock 'n' roller at heart, but all that stuff went into storage, and it's tough to look back on that when you're excited about what's to come, and that's where my focus is right now," owner/operator Nick Karavites said Tuesday.

Designed by the same architects that transformed Chicago's riverwalk, the new McDonald's appears in renderings as a modern, sleek glass and steel structure with solar panels, and even a floating glass garden of ferns and birch trees. Over seventy trees will surround the outdoor seating area and kiosks will line the front entrance.

It's clear the company is working hard to ditch the past. Many old-school restaurants and even the museum in Des Plaines are being demolished. Beyond Chicago, McDonalds plans to overhaul nearly all of its U.S. restaurants by 2020.