Why One Irish McDonald's Location Is So Unique

The Golden Arches have become an iconic glowing symbol, announcing to passersby that the countdown to a Big Mac is nigh. Even those who want nothing to do with fast food can spot the sign a mile away and have likely stepped foot in a McDonald's at the very least, even just for a quick road trip break. 

People can say what they want about the classic burger joint, but McDonald's is the monarch of consistency. Those perfectly greasy french fries taste just as good in Delaware as in Tennessee. Between the signature branding and aroma of fried goodness, the restaurant chain is generally easy to recognize, but not in a particular U.K. seaside village.

A picturesque town dishes out the familiar flavors of McDonald's on the coast of Ireland — sans Golden Arches. Without the glaring neon sign, the small-town McDonald's is easy to miss, and not just for the lack of bright lights and trademark yellow. Unique isn't typically synonymous with McDonald's, but this location just south of Dublin is so quaint it could easily be mistaken for a personal abode.

Bray residents can attend town meetings and grab a happy meal, all under one roof

There are McDonald's fans, and then there are the citizens of Bray, Ireland. The community's love for greasy hamburgers runs so deep that they turned their Town Hall into a hyphenate. The Tudor-style building, which looks like it was plucked right from an enchanting estate, has served as both Bray's Town Hall and a McDonald's since 1997, according to Cheapism. The first floor is reserved for hungry patrons, while the upper level is dedicated to town officials and city developments. Located in the city's market square, the original structure was designed by architects Thomas Newenham Deane & Son sometime between 1880 and 1885.

Reginald Brabazon, the 12th Earl of Meath, commissioned the Renaissance meets Gothic building as a market house for the cherished town of Bray. The Irish village was lacking a market house at the time, ever since the sole market was knocked down decades prior, notes History Ireland. Aside from grabbing a quick meal, Bray's citizens utilize the Town Hall just as Brabazon intended. He envisioned the upstairs as the town's council chamber from the get-go, as well as a general community center. 

In the mid-1940s, the lower-level market house said farewell to Bray, but the Town Hall remained. Dozens of renovations later, the vacant level was restored as a McDonald's. It still stands today, drenched in stained-glass and gables.