Repurposed fast-food restaurants
If you didn't catch the recent Magnetic Fields show at the State Theater, you also missed their opening act, the Forewords. The duo of self-described obsessive esotericist Paul Lukas and polycivic voyeur Liz Clayton present slideshows on common cultural oddities, and one current Clayton fixation is bad conversions of former fast-food franchies, chronicled at notfoolinganybody.com. On one hand, they're hilarious, on the other, aesthetically depressing, and if the economy continues to falter, we're probably going to start seeing more former Bennigan's turn into check-cashing shops.
My favorite local example used to be the now-closed Pineda Tacos at Hi-Lake, which embraced the space's Pizza Hut heritage and hardly changed a thing--there was really no getting around the "hut"-like roofline anyway. The only other one that comes to mind is La Chaya Bistro on Nicollet, which used extensive landscaping and interior design to impressively disguise the fact that the building once housed a KFC.
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