Monday, February 23, 2009

Paging Ronald McDonald...

I rarely eat fast food, and I certainly don’t want downtown to be completely overrun with fast food joints, but there are a few chains that, surprisingly, have no presence downtown.

Most notable by their absence are:

Taco Bell
Burger King

None of these chains want to make a little money downtown?

It seems strange to me that a major urban business center does not have a McDonald’s. It seems like just about every other city I’ve visited has one downtown, and today’s McDonald’s, with its more upscale look and wider variety of menu options, would be a nice fit for downtown St. Louis. I have a hard time believing that a downtown McDonald’s would not be successful today.

At one point, downtown had THREE McDonald’s – 7th and Olive, St. Louis Centre and the McDonald’s Riverboat – and now there are none.

The St. Louis Centre food court also had an Arby’s and a Chick-Fil-A, both of which seemed to be quite popular. For many years, even while the mall struggled, its food court was always bustling at lunch time. Downtown now has a Lion’s Choice, which cancels out any need for an Arby’s, but Chick-Fil-A might be a good addition.

The more dining options downtown, the better. Especially when we still have empty storefronts.
And of course, I can always dream of a 24-hour downtown Steak ‘n Shake…


Anonymous said...

Depending on your definition of downtown, there is a McDonalds. It's in the Union Station food court. Other fast foods in US include Subway, Panda, and Quiznos.

Unfortunately US is far from most businesses and doesn't add any street level retail activity.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. There is a surprising lack of fast food and less expensive restaurants downtown.

Matt Kastner said...

Since most of the places you mention franchise out a lot, it could be less a fact that the companies don't want to open here and more that no viable franchisee has come up to bat.
I agree that its odd though.

On a side note, Lions Choice is my favorite fast food. The one Downtown is also the closest to my house. The only problem is that they have the weirdest hours known to man. I tried to go there this Sunday at 1pm, BUT THEY WEREN'T OPEN. Not only do we need more fast food places, we need the existing ones to shape up as well.