Jun 12, 2022 - World

Russian McDonald's successor opens in Moscow to long lines

Customers stand in a queue to get in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant
Customers stand in line to get in the Russian version of a former McDonald's restaurant in Moscow on June 12. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

The Russian-owned fast-food chain that will replace McDonald's in Russia opened the doors to its first restaurants in Moscow on Sunday, AP reported.

Catch up quick: McDonald's temporarily closed its Russian stores in March in the wake of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. In May, the fast-food giant announced that it would sell its Russian businesses to a local buyer and exit the country.

  • The new buyer, Alexander Govor, will continue to operate the restaurants under a different brand. On Friday, the chain's new logo was revealed.

The big picture: The name of the new fast-food chain, Vkusno i Tochka (Tasty and that's it), was revealed just hours ahead of its grand opening in the capital, AP reported.

  • Govor is moving quickly to reopen the repurposed McDonald's restaurants. Fifteen of them opened in Moscow on Sunday and there are plans to have 200 up and running by the end of the month, Oleg Paroev, the chain’s general director, told AP.
  • The new menu doesn't offer the well-known Big Mac or McFlurry but does offer spins on other classics, like a double cheeseburger and a fish burger, per Reuters.
McDonald's opening Moscow 1990
Customers stand in line outside the just opened first McDonald's in the Soviet Union in January 1990 at Moscow's Pushkin Square. Photo: Vitaly Armand/AFP via Getty Images

State of play: Although the restaurant opening in Moscow's famous Pushkin Square drew a crowd, it paled in comparison to the opening of McDonald's in 1990, when thousands of Russians queued for hours to try the food, per Reuters.

  • For many Russians, the arrival of McDonald's in the country symbolized the thawing Cold War and the demise of the Soviet Union, with the arrival of Western capitalism and culture.
  • “This is a historic place — the flagship of McDonald’s,” Govor told reporters, per AP. “I’m sure it will be the flagship for us.”
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