McDonald's Just Closed Its Huge, 4-Story Times Square Location for Good

Out with the old, in with the new. Eventually.

Exterior of the 42nd Street McDonalds featuring its theater-style marquee
Resul Muslu/Shutterstock
Resul Muslu/Shutterstock

After 17 years slinging Big Macs and Happy Meals, McDonald’s former 42nd Street flagship has supersized its last fries. The massive, four-story location’s Broadway theater-style marquee went dark one final time on Tuesday. 

This could have been expected, since New York City tourism has dipped substantially since the five boroughs went on Pause, and locals who previously avoided Times Square avoided the area by choice began avoiding it by force of necessity. But the permanent closure cannot be blamed on the coronavirus pandemic. 

“McDonald’s reviews its restaurant portfolio on a regular basis to make the best decisions for our business moving forward,” read a statement shared with Thrillist and other media outlets. "The closing of the 42nd [Street] Times Square restaurant, which was planned before the pandemic, was a difficult decision, and allows us to focus on serving customers a few blocks away at the new flagship McDonald’s on 45th and Broadway and in the neighboring communities."

Anyone still hungry for a bite of corporate Americana at the crossroads of the world will have to hike a few blocks over to the golden arches’ new flagship. The slightly smaller three-story Broadway outpost opened in May of 2019 -- plenty of time for its early-aughts predecessor to phase out. 

Although it has a little less space for social distancing, the newcomer may have been ahead of its time. The glass-encased restaurant boasts digital ordering kiosks, in-app ordering, and delivery. 

At press time, McDonald’s had not responded to questions about the fate of the 7,000 light bulbs that comprise the 42nd Street restaurant’s sign.  

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.