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McD’s no more: Russia renames fast food joint

MOSCOW (AFP) – The restaurant that launched McDonald’s in Russia in 1990, heralding Moscow’s opening after decades of Soviet rule, re-opened yesterday with a new name in a reminder of the upheaval sparked by the conflict in Ukraine.

The United States (US) fast-food giant announced on May 16 that it would exit Russia in the wake of its Ukraine offensive. In Moscow’s Pushkin Square yesterday, dozens of people gathered outside the Russian incarnation of the fast-food restaurant, “Vkusno i tochka” (“Delicious. Full Stop”), well before the official noon opening.

“My whole family went… three times to McDonald’s for a farewell meal,” Elena, a programmer and mother of two, told Agence France-Presse.

“Now we’re going for a reunion lunch,” she smiled.

Inside, 31-year-old Oleg, one of the first customers to receive his order, said “Vkusno i tochka” was “delicious, beautiful and cheap”.

The restaurant, on the spot where the very first McDonald’s opened its doors to long queues and great fanfare in January 1990, is among the first 15 to welcome customers.

Another 50 restaurants are set to open today, according to general manager of the new group Oleg Paroyev, with the chain then planning to re-open 50 to 100 a week across the country.

In place of the Golden Arches, there’s a new logo – two stylised orange fries alongside a red dot on a green background.

There are still double cheeseburgers on the menu, as well as a wide range of ice creams and desserts. But the “Mc” prefix no longer appears.

“We had to remove some products from the menu because they refer directly to McDonald’s, such as the McFlurry and Big Mac,” Paroyev said.

People line up to visit a newly opened fast food restaurant in a former McDonald’s outlet in Bolshaya Bronnaya Street in Moscow, Russia. PHOTO: AP
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