Michigan Urban Legend – The Only McDonald’s in America to Close in the Winter Was in Mackinaw City
(Editor's Note: The photo that accompanies this article is not the Mackinaw City McDonalds, but an archive stock photo of an older-style McDonald's restaurant.)
There used to be a McDonald's in Mackinaw City and a popular urban legend was that it was the only restaurant in the chain that closed during the winter. So is it true?
We'll answer this one straight away: No, there are/were at least two other McDonald's restaurants in northern resort communities that closed during winter.
The Mackinaw City McDonald's was open for less than a decade from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. While it did close every winter as tourist traffic to the straits was greatly diminished, it was not the only seasonal McDonalds in the nation.
In upstate New York's remote Adirondack Mountains, a McDonalds in Old Forge closed every winter. The website McChronicles has a photo of the restaurant socked in with snow. Commentors on that blog post also report there is a seasonal McDonald's in the seaside community of Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.
In fact, Google Street View captured an open/closed pair of photos of that New Hampshire McDonald's. This October 2008 photo shows the McDonald's closed and boarded up for winter:
While this image from August 2011 shows the restaurant open.
|n addition to the McDonald's in Mackinac City and Old Forge, the New Hampshire seasonal McDonald's is now closed permanently. So there must be something to McDonald's not wanting restaurants that get shuttered several months out of the year.
Now that the Mackinaw City McDonald's is just a memory, Straits area residents and visitors can find a Golden Arches on the north side of the Mackinac Bridge in St. Ignace on US 2 - and it's open all year round.