The Chain Gang

Regarding the New, Allegedly Green, ‘Healthier’ McDonald’s in Berkeley

The revamped San Pablo Ave. spot.
The revamped San Pablo Ave. spot. Photo: Alan Scherstuhl/SFoodie

If you’re McDonald’s, what do you do in a place like Berkeley where people would rather paint targets on themselves and stand in front of Dick Cheney’s house than condone formula fast-food in their town? The chain’s marketing folk have come up with a new “green” angle they’re trying out, and it’s pretty hilarious. They’ve just revamped their location at 1198 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley with “local” lettuce and tomatoes on their Big Macs and “bioswales” in the parking lot in place of medians, and SFoodie provides a review of the place.

First off, they may be using more environmentally friendly stuff to clean the floors, and the bathroom is “much less pee-stinking than the one in the McDonald’s at Shattuck and University.” In fact, there is no stink at all. “Perhaps the most notable thing about this McDonald’s is that it doesn’t smell like a McDonald’s. Instead of that familiar stink of scalded coffee, relentless deep frying, and either fresh kid puke or the cleaning sludge used to clean up the last batch, this place smells like absolutely nothing. That’s an improvement.”

The menu is pretty much your standard McDonald’s, but with their new signs showing calorie counts and encouraging you to order some apple slices and a Diet Coke with your burger, instead of fries, which no one ever does.

As for those “bioswales,” there are hilarious signs in the parking lot, on fences that block people from crossing over planted medians, which say, “Caution: Do not cross the Bioswales. Vegetative planting designed to remove pollutants from surface water, prior to runoff into the Bay. This Is Not a Walking Path.”

The fact that this seems more like an art piece mocking Berkeley than it does a reality must be lost on them. Way to patronize!

McDonald’s (Purportedly) Healthy, Sustainable Berkeley Location: Yes, We Went to It [SFoodie]
McDonald’s tries to rebrand itself in Berkeley of all places [Berkeleyside]

Regarding the New, Allegedly Green, ‘Healthier’ McDonald’s in