This Long Island McDonald's Is Actually A Mansion

Picture a romantic Saturday evening, as a young couple pulls into the parking lot of their favorite restaurant. Through the nearly floor-to-ceiling windows on the circular veranda (via Insider), they can see a dining room full of smiling patrons. One person opens a plated glass door for the other and they move into the lobby, which features hardwood floors and an enormous double-staircase leading up to a mezzanine dining area. The space feels even larger due to windows on nearly every wall and the vaulted ceiling towering nearly three stories above. The couple holds hands and approaches the counter, debating whether or not to share ... a 9-piece Chicken McNugget with their Big Macs and french fries!

Yep, you got that right. In the village of Hyde Park in Long Island, New York, there's a McDonald's housed in a crisp white mansion dating back to 1795, according to a podcast from Bronx Community College, and it looks like no fast food restaurant you've ever seen before. The transcript says that the Denton farmhouse was built by a prominent family who settled in the area over a century prior, many of whom made notable contributions to the town. The original structure went through periods of addition and reconstruction until the 1860s, at which time it was renovated into a Georgian-style mansion similar to what is seen now. It isn't clear when the Denton family sold the estate, but an early commercial use was in the 1930s when it became a funeral home!

The historic location was a massive undertaking

The mansion was also an Italian restaurant and two other restaurants between 1948 and the early '80s (via Bronx Community College). In 1987 the property was sold for $1 million to McDonald's franchise owner Larry Anderer, who planned to tear the then decrepit building down. The idea of destroying a historically significant mansion was met with high opposition from local members of the community, who were quick to act against Anderer. In less than one year, the Denton house was declared a historic building by the newly formed North Hempstead Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission, who received the application to save the home during their very first hearing.

After a long and expensive – to the tune of $4 million dollars – restoration, the 12,000th McDonald's (via Waymarking) finally opened in 1991. Despite some early opposition, the grand opening was highly anticipated by the town of North Hempstead. Insider references an article stating that the opening weekend caused giant traffic jams as cars lined the Jericho Turnpike for a chance to eat at the fancy new McDonald's.

Due to specific stipulations related to its designation as a historical structure, this location is one of the few of Mickey-D's fast-food restaurants to lack a pair of famous golden arches. There is one small, unobtrusive sign picturing the red-and-yellow logo in front (via Scouting NY) – but the mansion is definitely easy to spot!