Friday, April 03, 2009

The Golden Arches Turn Red (1/31/07)

In the bleak days of the Soviet Union, consumer goods were scarce, but wise shoppers knew they could head to the local Универсам (supermarket) and pick up some mystery meat for supper. Soviets with a little pocket money might make a beeline to their favorite кафе (cafe) for a hearty bowl of борщ (borshch). All of that changed on January 31, 1990, though, when arch-capitalist McDonald's opened their first ресторан (restaurant) in Москва. Микки Дc (Mickey D's) was soon the hottest thing since sliced хлеб (bread), serving 30,000 people on the first day alone. The McDonald's in Pushkin Square is still the company's busiest outlet, and the chain has expanded to 103 locations, serving more than 200,000 hungry Russians a day. But the Биг Мак isn't the only convenience food option for Muscovites on the go. Ronald McDonald has been joined by such chains as Subway, TGI Friday's, and even the homegrown Rostik's. So if you're ever in Moscow, drop by; you never know who you might see.

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