National chains take on local flavor

I’m back! (Did anyone notice I’ve been gone?!)

While attending my cousin’s wedding in Washington state, I stayed in the somewhat theme-parkey but still cute town of Leavenworth, WA, which has been modeled after an Alpine village.

(As an aside, there’s an interesting story there – with the decline of logging industry and the threatened demise of the town, a few civic leaders woke up one morning forty or fifty years ago and said, “Hey! Let’s make this place a Bavarian village and create a tourist destination!” It worked.)

Here’s the local McDonald’s.

So then I looked back on photos and trip notes from other places, and found at least two other examples of what happens when local ordinances require franchises to tailor their architecture to suit the community.

Here’s the McDonald’s in Asheville, NC:

And Sedona, AZ:


  1. Anne Bretts said:

    Good catch, guys. I was in a hurry and should have taken more care with my wording. I was thinking about the kids staring at the backs of the tall headrests and in the ‘wayback’ seats of minivans — and those staring at video screens. I know they can see out the side windows, and maybe they can see crosswalks through the front windows, though I’ve ridden in back with the grandkids and the field of vision is not great.
    I do know when we had the walk to school day last fall that many kids seemed completely unaware of when it was their turn to enter the intersection or how the cars were supposed to take turns.

    May 20, 2008

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