McDonald's Fans Need To Follow This Unusual Twitter Account

Chain restaurants are designed around familiarity. No matter where you are in the world, when you enter a popular chain you want to be comforted by the same sights, smells, and food you know and love — or at least like. Take, for example, McDonald's golden arches and omnipresent smell of french fries. You've come to expect these. But as the Twitter account @nonstandardmcd proves, some McDonald's restaurant designs may surprise you.

As the name implies, Nonstandard McDonald's is an archive of all the unique, strange, or beautiful architecture seen in McDonald's worldwide. Their bio proclaims they're "preserving the only architectural heritage of the western world." A quick scroll reveals shots of a "mountain frontier McDonald's" in Lone Pine, California; a McDonald's with a stage for live performances in Nashville's Opryland area; and a festive North Pole-themed McDonald's on Santa Claus Lane in Alaska.

The @nonstandardmcd account was created in July 2020, but it has already racked up over 100,000 followers and outspoken fans. Megan Kirby at Slate calls it her "preferred method of armchair tourism," and The Takeout highlights the account as a way of "explor[ing] the world" during a time where it's hard to travel IRL.

What makes these McDonald's locations so noteworthy?

You're probably wondering how interesting a massive, corporate fast food chain can really look. Very interesting, the Nonstandard McDonald's account proves. This Serbian McDonald's, located within a "historic city hall," boasts ornate stained glass and chandeliers. At the Lisbon Zoo in Portugal, McDonald's patrons can enjoy an up-close view of real crocodiles.

Some city's building requirements have resulted in unique restaurant designs, per Nonstandard McDonald's. The Freeport, Maine version of the chain was built in a 150-year-old mansion and the Independence, Ohio location was created in an American Colonial building, so both were required to adhere to "strict building design codes" (via Business Insider). And that's just a small sampling!

Truly unconventional McDonald's locations may be on the downswing, though, and the Nonstandard McDonald's feed reveals that many of the chain's quirkiest locations are what the account deems "deceased," meaning closed or renovated.

Kirby at Slate notes that McDonald's "began dialing back its interior design" in 2006, and in 2017 her hometown McD's (aka Chicago's "Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's") was redesigned into something much more "sterile" (via The Architect's Newspaper).

While we may be headed towards a future of even more homogenous fast food restaurants, at least Nonstandard McDonald's is there to preserve the glory that once was.