Copenhageners on McDonald’s plan: We’re not lovin’ it

Fast food giant plans to bring its Big Macs to historic Kongens Nytorv building

The bike ticket has increased passengers from 2.1 million to 9 million since 2010 (photo: Leif Jørgensen)
August 24th, 2012 10:45 am| by admin
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Since McDonald’s announced it would move its deep fryers into a historic building in the heart of Copenhagen, more than 8,000 people have joined a Facebook group saying "hell no" to the fast food giant’s decision.

McDonald’s Denmark this week confirmed that it has hired a French architect and Danish contractors to redevelop the premises next to Magasin du Nord in Kongens Nytorv, which previously housed Café A Porta, but said it would try to maintain the original building’s heritage.  

It will be the first time a Danish McDonald’s has modified a historical building to accommodate for modern day needs like all-abilities access and better ventilation, according to Politiken newspaper.

The Copenhagen Post visited the site on Thursday to find out what passersby thought of the plans.

Karina Leblon lives in Paris now, but having worked at Magasin du Nord 15 years ago, she knows the area better than most people. With fond memories of the “classic” Café A Porta, Leblon said it was disappointing to hear about the building’s new fate.

“I think it’s awful that McDonald’s are going to take it over,” she said. “They will turn it into a rubbish bin.”

But Leblon is not opposed to all multinationals: she would prefer that Starbucks moved in over McDonald’s.

It is the greasy smell of french fries and burgers that she thinks will be out of place in the famous square.

Copenhagen resident Turi Gaard Hansen is similarly concerned that the fast food chain will destroy the ambiance.

“Copenhagen is so cosy and beautiful and when you see a building taken over by something like McDonald’s, it’s sad,” she said. “Aren’t there enough McDonald’s restaurants already?”

While student Karolis Matulionis thinks putting a McDonald’s restaurant next to the Kongens Nytorv Metro exit will create an unpleasant first impression, he has more moderate views towards the development.

“If they keep the building as it looks from the outside then I really don’t mind,” he said.

The building dates back to 1792 when it was home to a patisserie, before Swiss man Stephan A Porta started a restaurant there in the 1850s.

Café A Porta’s most recent owners, which include former Copenhagen FC boss, Flemming Østergaard, put the site up for sale last year after losing millions of kroner – citing the Metro construction as a deterrent to customers.

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