McDonald's No. 1 Store Museum

The nostalgia factor is off the charts at this golden-arches time capsule. The museum is a re-creation of the first restaurant opened by McDonald's Corp. founder Ray Kroc in Des Plaines on April 15, 1955. The original building, demolished in 1984, was rebuilt to original blueprint specifications. It's a testament to humble beginnings. The original iconic "Speedee" road sign out front proclaims, "Over one million served." Inside the building, two male mannequins (in its day, eight-to-10 employees worked the floor) are poised to take an order. The original 10-item menu is a Ron Swanson fever dream: Burgers, fries, milkshakes and soft drinks. Look closely to see the peelers used on fresh potatoes that were sliced into fries on the premises. "People bring their children and grandchildren here and tell them, 'This is how McDonalds was when I was growing up,'" said Mike Bullington, company historian and archivist. You want fries with that? There's a thoroughly modern McDonald's across the street. It also offers salads. Open 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday and Friday, until 4 p.m. Saturday, though Labor Day; 400 N. Lee St., Des Plaines; free, 847-297-5022 and
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