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In Memoriam: Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s

Some things in this world feel untouchable. When something that feels untouchable is suddenly and unexpectedly faced with its mortality, we feel blindsided. We feel robbed of what was once ours, we’re left with no explanation and to face the loss of something once so iconic.

Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s was untouchable, but on Dec. 30, our dear comrade was laid to rest and has since succumbed to ferocious demolition.

Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonalds was more than just a place to grab a hamburger. It was there for us all. Every time we went to a shitty club in River North, it seemed like Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s was just right around the corner, waiting to shroud you in a warm, greasy hug.

Even when we couldn’t remember how we got there, two giant yellow beams with blaring bright lights and 100 high schoolers were there to remind you where you were. Rock ‘n’ Roll was a sanctuary.

This wasn’t just any franchise. With its extensive collection of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia and expansive two floors, this was Golden Arches paradise. The escalators stretch on for miles, taking you gracefully nearer to nugget nirvana.

Even during prom weekend, when horny high schoolers flood into the city, Rock ‘n’ Roll Mcdonald’s was able to bring the drunk children together with us slightly older drunk children.

It feels like an indescribable loss, knowing we’ll never get to look at the weird 2000’s throwback mural. We’ll never again get to sit in the disgusting vinyl booths that smell permanently like sweat and ketchup or eat at the tables shaped like kidney beans.

Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s was torn down to be remodeled with more modern updates. After taking a wrecking ball to our hearts, the new McDonald’s won’t have a theme. Instead, it’ll be the cold, roboticism of Silicon Valley and probably Elon Musk by installing solar panels, self-ordering kiosks and including table service (at a McDonald’s???). No.

Sadly, while all of our drunken nostalgia lies in a pile of rubble, we are left waiting for a win from McDonald’s. This comes only two years after the location in Wrigleyville was demolished, similarly with little warning, leaving us all heartbroken and hungry.

When will they listen to the people? All we want is the good old, grungy McDonald’s we love.

Our hearts will never really feel as full without you, Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s. Sure, they’ll still serve up crispy nuggets and Big Macs, and sure, we’ll still scarf them down with no hesitation, but we’ll always feel your presence. Rest easy Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s, you were loved.

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