Saturday, June 18, 2011

McModern

Weary travelers making a pit stop on the Muskogee Turnpike may think they've stumbled into a W Hotel. Alas, it's only a McDonalds.

As a child these travel plazas held a science fiction-like fascination. Gaudy signs and futuristic architecture invited you into a world of tomorrow. The best part of any road trip was the rest stop. Like an oasis on the endless ribbon of concrete, the travel plaza provided a much needed break from the monotony of transcontinental travel by car.

The new 15,000 square foot travel plaza, located in Wagoner County, replaced the existing convenience store and Mickey D from the Seventies. Both businesses are now located in one building which opened in April 2011. The decor is open and contemporary, what I'd describe as West Elm-ish. We especially liked the bright red Emeco 111 Navy chairs molded from recycled Coke bottles. Even the toilets are hip, featuring sleek waterless urinals and Dyson Airblade hand dryers.

Another nice touch is the artwork in the center of the restaurant. Four photos of Oklahoma scenes by Muskogee dentist David Jones are displayed on segmented panels. It's a nice touch that adds some local color.

It's no world of tomorrow. But it's nice to see a little effort spent on making it special.
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Postscript.