The McDonald's That Broadcasts Classical Music


Apropos of exactly nothing, I came across this bizarre McDonald's on the 16th Street Mall in Denver. Though not apparently open, the fast-food restaurant plays classical music out onto the street from speakers that I could hear but not see. I have never encountered this odd situation, and I can't understand what the motivation might be. Do they think people will be tricked into believing they have stumbled upon an incredibly cheap, high-class restaurant that just happens to serve Big Macs and fries? Everyone knows what McDonald's means as a brand, so it seems pointless to try to tart the place up with fancy music. Sorry, Mickie D's: you are no Nordstrom's!

Anyway, has anyone seen this in another locale? Is there a secret network of schmancy McDonald's that I don't know about?

Update: Michelle Riggen tells me that the music "keep[s] kids from hanging out in front. They do it in Seattle, too. Like seals and heavy metal!" Tim Maly agrees: "They do this in Ottawa. It's to keep punk teens/the homeless away. Like sprinklers pointed at benches. A measure to make the space uncomfortable for undesirables with us in the crossfire."

(Why am I in Denver? How nice of you to ask. I'm delivering a lecture on compressed air at the Museum of Contemporary Art tonight. If you're in town, please come!)

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