The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, April 21, 2006

How Brookfield Is Becoming Like Santa Barbara 

The very first thing I thought of when I read this was my old home town:

An upscale McDonald's that will be virtually unrecognizable as a fast-food restaurant is being planned in Brookfield. It would drop the iconic yellow and swap Ronald's bright primary colors for subtler earth tones such as hunter green fabric awnings.
"We set very high architectural standards, and they met them," Ertl said. "It's state-of-the art in terms of design, and they believe it has the most character of any restaurant they have built recently."

Under a plan being reviewed by the city, an existing McDonald's at 300 N. Moorland Road, across from Brookfield Square mall, that has the chain's familiar sloped mansard roof and golden arches, would be razed and rebuilt with a larger, taller restaurant.

The new building will feature brick, slate and tile and fake the appearance of a second story - something the city is requiring in that mall corridor and other key city entrances. Its roof will be flat.

Actually... what Brookfield is doing is nothing compared to what Santa Barbara enforces with extreme vigor along downtown State Street. In Santa Barbara, all businesses use the same ugly Mediterranean facade with stucco and Spanish tile. All of them. They have to. Several years ago a French Bistro dared to break the mold, and created a gorgeous cafe exterior right along downtown State Street (which is a prime tourist trap shopping area). I actually got to see it during one of my visits and was suitably impressed. The city threatened to shut them down, and they were forced to remodel the exterior to conform to the city standard.

Brookfield is apparently attempting to follow suit. Fear this change. When you give a city council this amount of power over businesses, they use it in all sorts of other ways too. The city of Santa Barbara doesn't just enforce these sorts of standards on looks, that's just the most easily visible.


So Brookfield is going the way of the Mequon land Nazis. Chalk up another burb I won't be moving to.

  Posted at April 21, 2006 4:46 PM by Anonymous Sean Hackbarth  
Ask Josh about the Burger King in Lake Forest, IL.

I had gone down to visit him in college several times ( 5 or so ), and one day, he says we should go to the Burger King. I asked where there was a fast food restaurant in such an affluent city...

Apparently, I had driven RIGHT BY IT on my way in on each visit. It was on the road leading into the campus, and I never even noticed it. It looked NOTHING like a Burger King. A sign hidden behind a bush, all brick building, and fancy curtains in the windows.

I'm sure Burger King would like to know that little piece of information.

  Posted at April 23, 2006 3:09 PM by Blogger Kuflax  
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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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