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McDonald’s coming soon to Checkpoint Charlie January 13, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in German culture, Random musings.

Expatica is reporting today that McDonald’s is planning on building a restaurant in Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie, “completing the landmark’s 20-year transformation from Cold War front line to money-making tourist hotspot.” Checkpoint Charlie was the main border crossing for foreigners between West and East Berlin. I myself had the privilege of crossing through it, although my very first border crossing was at Friedrichstraße. For the love of all that is holy and good, I think building a McDonald’s at the historic location is a TERRIBLE idea. McDonald’s symbolizes capitalism, and I understand what they are trying to do, but Checkpoint Charlie is more than just a tribute to capitalism. I would be interested to hear what some of you Berlin residents think about this idea.

As Expatica explains:

The 120-seater restaurant will be opposite the Mauermuseum dedicated to the Berlin Wall that used to divide the city, and hopes to be selling its burgers, fries and other products from mid-2010, a spokeswoman said.

The 600-square-metre (6,500-square-feet) restaurant, on the site of where Soviet and US tanks famously faced off in 1961, is a “top location,” the Bild daily cited the American fast food giant as saying.

My memories of Checkpoint Charlie have absolutely nothing to do with McDonald’s. I hope the German authorities deny the request!



1. Sarah - January 14, 2010

That would put McDonald’s just 2 doors down from Starbucks at Checkpoint Charlie. In fact, the excellent German Kneipe ‘Cafe Adler’ closed at CC to make room for another coffee chain. At this point there is not at a bratwurst to be had far and wide anywhere near the former Checkpoint. It is definitely clear who won the Coldwar on that spot. A photo in front of a guardhouse set-up with actors dressed up in old uniforms will cost you 2 euros; an old DDR stamp in your passport is another 2 euros. Oh boy, don’t get me started. McDonald’s is just a drop in the bucket at this point.

2. Caitilin - January 15, 2010

When I lived in Freiburg, oh-so-many years ago, I was appalled to see “McDonalds” emblazoned across the Martinstor, one of the two remaining gates to the medieval city. Remember, the Germans are capitalists too. Enjoy your McRib…

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