McDowell’s Closing 25 Years After Becoming A Box-Office Icon

McDowell’s is possibly one of the most notable fast food locations in history. It’s up there with Good Burger, Krusty Burger, Bob’s Burgers, It has a storied history, as it’s where a young Samuel L. Jackson robbed the location. Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, and Louie Anderson worked the staff. John Amos owned the restaurant, and was constantly in fear of McDonald’s shutting him down (ignoring the fact that he had acquired McDonald’s Training Guides and had them in his office, he proclaimed it was a different restaurant that can’t be sued).

Naturally, this is all fallacy. McDowell’s was much of the focus of the 1988 classic Coming To America, starring Eddie Murphy as a Prince in search of a Queen… and ends up in Queens. There were certain distinguishing traits that separated it from McDonald’s. The Wall Street Journal lists a few, such as the Big Mac versus the Big Mick and the Golden Arches versus the Golden Arcs.

To make things even more confusing, the restaurant was actually a Wendy’s. “Was”, as it’s being shut down for a new, multi-million apartment complex with ground floor stores. A local McDonald’s had actually called to complain during shooting, thinking it really was a knock-off opening in its district.

Would you have ever wanted to eat there? It’s a knock-off of McDonald’s, to be sure, but with a Prince working the register and a one-time host of Family Feud working the fryer, it would be worth a stop off.