This Bay Area Restaurant Is So Fancy, You’d Never Guess It’s Part of a Giant Fast Food Chain

When you walk into one newly renovated restaurant in Lafayette, California in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might think you’re in a fancy, artisnal burger place.

Really, though, this restaurant is part of a massive fast-food chain that you definitely know!

Inside this stealth restaurant, there are parquet floors, video screens for ordering, tasteful tile walls, and even big metal letters on the wall spelling out things like “Delicious Burgers”.

Inside the fancy restaurant (we covered a logo)

There are booths and wooden tables with a lovely, airy design. Everything is lit with directed lights and is bright and cheerful, like you’re in an art gallery.

This is the Bay Area, so tech is everywhere. In addition to the video screens showing the menu and touchscreens for ordering, you can use a dedicated mobile app to order from your table.

Behind the restaurant, there’s a stunningly-lit drive-through that’s open late.

It looks like a fancy local place. But really, it’s part of a massive fast food chain. Which one?

It turns out this Lafayette, California restaurant is actually a McDonald’s!

That’s right–all the upscale wood paneling, digital tech, and fancy design belong to the same restaurant chain that created Ronald McDonald, and sported the plastic climbing structures and oozy, greasy French fries you remember from childhood!

The Lafayette location is part of a new trend towards fancier McDonald’s restaurant design. Along with the interior, the exterior of the restaurant sports a classier and more subtle version of the iconic golden arches.

It also features more upscale menu items, like McDonald’s newer McCafe offerings.

Don’t worry, though–for all its finery, you can still get a classic, sugary, decidedly un-fancy McFlurry!

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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