Tuesday, July 18, 2017

[Suburbia Lost] McDonald's - Forest Park, OH

In a recent Suburbia Lost entry we took a look at the "pizza hut phenomenon.' I.E. When purpose built structures of restaurant chains and fast food organizations have such a distinct identity it's hard to imagine them being anything else. Oftentimes, these businesses are actually leasing the buildings and when something new opens up, the building's design gives you a direct clue to its history. There's one organization though that never really falls victim to this and that's McDonald's.

McDonald's will usually go to great lengths when closing or relocating a location. Rarely will they let an old building stand and become something else. Unlike Pizza Hut, they don't seem to want their former restaurants turning into sports bars, churches, or strip clubs. Seen here in Forest Park, OH, the building itself is gone, but there are still some remains. Unless you're from the area and remember grabbing hash browns here with your Dad, you might not know what it once was. Nevertheless, there's still some suburban fossils around which hint at the fast food past:

- Wiring for the drive-thru speaker box. 

- Drive-thru path.

- Light pole.

A new location opened up further down the road from where this one once stood.

Suburbia Lost takes a look at the ruins left behind in American suburbs locally and found on travels throughout the country. 

Check out the documented locations here


  1. That whole shopping area is cannibalized retail. The Ollies used to be a Thriftway, countless stores have gone in and out of the strip mall there to the left. I remember there being Arby's, Wendy's and a burger king. I don't know if the Taco bell/pizza hut is still there. I think it may be a check cashing place. Across the street was a K-mart.

    1. Thats not the same shopping center. The Mcdonalds is at a shopping center on Northland Blvd. The one with the Ollies is on Hamilton and Waycross.

    2. When this McDonald's was built the big thing was that it could not have a high sign. McDonald's always wanted a high pylon sign. (They still do.) It was against city code. They also could not have a curb cut. You had to enter the strip mall's parking lot to get to McDonald's. As I recall they could not have a drive up window at first and it was added later. But at the time having a McDonald's made Forest Park big time!

    3. Jim, that's an awesome bit of local trivia! I remember when Fairfield, Ohio got a SECOND McDonald's not far from where the first one was. As a kid, I couldn't believe it. And when we got an Applebees.... hooo leee shit.

      Nowadays, I still appreciate McDonald's, but not in the way I did as a kid. Sometimes you can't beat the Double Quarter Pounder though.

    4. We used to drive to North College Hill because that was the closest McDonald's. I am not sure if it is the original building but there is an obviously former McDonald's building in the spot but it is now a Chinese restaurant or something like that.

      Remember Jerry's drive in? I think there was one on Springfield pike. The building is now a hair supply store. And I think there was one on down next to Goodwill. It was part of an engineering company for a long time. It was a Mr Jim's steakhouse before they went to UC. Jerry's was very much like Frisch's and would often locate near a Frisch's even that wasn't true on Springfield Pike.

    5. Can't say I remember Jerry's drive-in.

    6. I worked at that McDonald's in high school, around 1990 or so. Lots of memories around that plaza while growing up in the area.