Au Roi de la Bière – Paris, France - Gastro Obscura

Gastro Obscura

Au Roi de la Bière

Once a 19th-century brasserie, this McDonald's exterior celebrates Alsatian design and the "King of Beer." 

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After France lost the Alsace-Lorraine region to Germany in the Franco-German War of 1870, many locals left the area to settle in Paris. They took with them a strong culture of brewing, opening dozens of brasseries in the capital city, as evidenced today in the timber-laden, Alsatian-style architecture you can still see throughout Paris. One of these intricately charming facades now houses a fast-food restaurant.

Built in 1892 and named Au Roi de la Biére (“The King of Beer”), what was originally one of these Alsatian brasseries is now a fanciful McDonald’s. It still boasts the timber slats, gabled roof, and ornate brick work typical of buildings in the Alsace region, but today it shelters the distribution of Le Big Mac avec pommes frites.

Because it was deemed a historic national monument in 1997, many of the original features remain on this “MacDo,” as the company is known in France. They include a large statue of Gambrinus—a legendary European folk hero and the eponymous “King of Beer”—as well as beer steins, tobacco pipes, and a stork perched on the building’s chimney. 

Know Before You Go

The McDonald's is located across the street from the city's Gare St. Lazare train station.