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'*Ding Dong* Doors Closing' ... Forever

By Shannon in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 9, 2006 7:00PM

ronald would approveIn an effort to be your one-stop McDonald's shop, Chicagoist has the following sad news to report: A unique, historic Crystal Lake branch of the mighty empire is shutting down. Granted, that's not as tragic as the overall fast food gentrification trend, but there's something special about this particular Mickey D's: it's housed in a piece of Chicago.

Four years after the very first McDonald's opened in Des Plaines, Crystal Lake became home to the 48th link in the chain in 1959. Business was steady, but the small building functioned for take-out only. That is, until 1984, when a retired CTA train car was installed to serve as the dining area. Done up in the customary McDonald's colors of red, white and yellow, it was a highly visible, fully-functioning novelty off of Northwest Highway. Unfortunately, the building and car adjacent don't fit into McDonald's future plans. Several others in the area have been upgraded, but the quaint specialty layout can't really be given the same treatment.

John Fallon, ops supervisor for McDonald's, says the building will most likely be torn down and parts of the train car donated to the Illinois Railway Museum. We hope that doesn't mean just some lamps and a seat cover here and there. We'd love to see the whole thing reassembled in all its cheesy, nostalgic glory, and we know we're not alone. In fact, the ultimate would be using the car as part of their historic CTA train trip, gobbling down a Crispy Chicken all the way.

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