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The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
United States

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The White House McDonalds

The White House McDonalds

I've been going to this McDonald's by the White House since the 1970s, originally on school field trips and then as a place for food when I was working up the street by the Old Executive Office Building, and later as one of those dozens of places I check on regularly to see how it's changed. In 2021, this McDonald's seemed to be enveloped in a constant state of quiet with a change to robotic automation that replaced all the voices of cashiers asking for the order and customers saying their order. Instead, it is now just people standing and waiting and pushing buttons on the giant kiosk ordering screens.

This is a far cry from the bustling noise of the past when bodies were jammed into the small venue, workers and patrons alike jostling to make or pick up their orders. (Automation seems to have streamlined the production and handing off of the food.)

Besides the office workers and the tourists, there was once a convenient ice skating rink nearby which drew customers who then spilled over to the McDonald's for after-skate snacks, just one of many scenarios that drove people in through the doors of this small fast food place where Presidents sometimes end up (or order meals from).

But the bustling noise of business and people talking to each other has dropped off in the whole area because Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed to vehicular traffic on May 20, 1995. This decision was made as a security measure following the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, which heightened concerns about potential threats to major government buildings. The avenue remains open to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Ordering food at the McDonalds Washington DC

Erik Weems
6933 Commons Plaza Suite 533
Chesterfield, VA 23832

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