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This Iconic McDonald's Location Is Shutting Down Permanently

Is there ever really a right time to say goodbye?

Nothing lasts forever, and that is proof with the latest McDonald's update. One of the Golden Arches' most iconic and beloved locations is closing forever. That's right, long gone are the days of traveling to New York City and stopping for a Big Mac and fries while you're strolling through Times Square.

Yes, according to company officials, the iconic Mickey D's on 42nd Street in Times Square—known for its Broadway theatre-like entrance—will close its doors next week. The trailblazing location has been opened for nearly two decades—17 years to be exact—and was the first to offer free WiFi to customers. Is there anything more legendary than that? Sadly, customers have until Tuesday to say goodbye.

"McDonald's reviews its restaurant portfolio on a regular basis to make the best decisions for our business moving forward," a spokesman for the company told The New York Post in a statement, along with calling this closure "a difficult decision."

And while you might be wondering if this is related to coronavirus, as many restaurants—both smaller local spots and chains—have fallen victim during this time. Especially in a location like Times Square that is currently not bustling with tourists, it's easy to understand that foot traffic has decreased, but this decision is said to not be in response to the pandemic.

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Perhaps what led to the demise of the 17,500-square-foot location is that another McDonald's opened just a few blocks away at 1530 Broadway, where the now-defunct Toys-R-Us store used to be. (Remember the Ferris wheel that used to be in the store?!) This three-story spot is much more modern-looking—it's all glass, giving the eatery a sleek vibe, and has 18 self-ordering kiosks and only a handful of actual cashiers. You can easily get a glimpse of the ball that drops every New Year's Eve, well, all-year-round while you enjoy your meal, too.

"We look forward to continuing to serve our customers at the flagship McDonald's on 45th Street and Broadway and in the neighboring communities," the spokesman added.

So don't worry, as there is still a McDonald's easily accessible in the Times Square area. But the original restaurant conveniently was located next to another tourist gem, Madame Tussauds (you know, the wax museum), and will now just be a distant memory. It's simply the end of an era. For those who were lucky enough to pay it a visit during their NYC adventures, the memories will live on.

Jennifer Maldonado
Jennifer Maldonado is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and health content. Read more about Jennifer