A new sign outside the McDonald's at 1045 W. Randolph Credit: Dave Newbart/Chicago Reader

McDonald’s appears to be ready to join Randolph Street’s famed restaurant row—potentially adding a fast-food eatery to a thoroughfare better known for cutting-edge restaurants like Girl & the Goat and Leña Brava than greasy burgers.

A tell-tale McDonald’s sign was erected recently on the front of the new headquarters building, which is still under construction at 1045 W. Randolph. A restaurant counter can be seen through a window. On Sunday, food aromas could be smelled outside the building.


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The sign is just east of a larger, main entrance to the building for the corporate headquarters. On Sunday, constructions crews could be seen working inside that part of the building.

The main entrance on RandolphCredit: Dave Newbart/Chicago Reader

The neighborhood group True West Loop reported on its Facebook page last week that the restaurant was getting ready to have a grand opening on April 11. Moshe Tamssot, who runs the page, said the menu would include international items from McDonald’s restaurants around the world, including gravy-loaded fries from Australia. The international items on the menu would rotate, Tamssot wrote.

However, in a later post, the group said the grand opening had been rescheduled due to work on the logo and an awning.

A McDonald’s spokesperson would not confirm any details of the opening or the menu.

McDonald’s has confirmed previously that it would house a restaurant in the building. A permit was issued in December to build the eatery. The rest of the 600,000-square-foot space is scheduled to open sometime this spring. More than 2,000 employees are expected to work in the nine-story building, which is being built at the site once home to Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios.

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In marketing materials for the building, the space that appears to be occupied by the restaurant indicates that it is “in lease.” Other materials indicate that the headquarters, restaurant, and so-called Hamburger University won’t be the only tenants of the building; more than 48,000 square feet of space are available for rent.