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Wendy's hopes burger lovers will flip over new 'ultramodern' style of restaurant

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Construction of a new Wendy's restaurant has begun in Richfield, and when it is complete, it will be one of the first of the fast food chain's updated restaurants in Minnesota.

The Business Journal reports the former Wendy's at 6500 Lyndale Ave. was demolished earlier this month after serving burgers and Frosties from the site for 36 years.

When it reopens in June, the Richfield restaurant will offer patrons an ultramodern design, featuring a patio, landscaping, fireplace, televisions and lounge seating.

The Richfield Wendy's is operated by Oakdale-based franchise group Four Crown Inc. which has already remodeled the Wendy's Coon Rapids location. It reopened last month as the the first Wendy's in the metro area sporting the new look. Most of Four Crown's 55 Minnesota and Wisconsin stores will be updated with the new design.

Wendy's is based in suburban Columbus, Ohio and the Columbus Business Journal has covered the chain's redesign. The new iteration was initially tested in Columbus, and has continued with additional conversions to the swankier style.

The story added that Wendy’s tested four designs in 2011 and, based on customer reaction and financial returns, it settled on a favorite, which has since generated higher revenues from new customers and larger purchases.

Changing fast food style, from classic to contemporary

There are apparently no sacred cows when it comes to fast food design. Fast food restaurants have shaped the modern American landscape, and the most popular of the outlets have gone through a series of architectural shifts and changes. In 2013, the Smithsonian magazine detailed the evolving versions of McDonald's, starting with the original prototype from the 1950s, marked by its iconic golden arches.

Earlier this month, the Huffington Post carried a story of the original Taco Bell, built in 1962 in Downey, California, noting that "the wood, stucco and brick Mission-style building measured just 20 feet by 20 feet," and that it lacked indoor seating.

In the mid-1980s, Taco Bell underwent a major overhaul, upgrading many of its restaurants and shutting down outmoded locations, including the first one.

Today the future of the original Taco Bell is uncertain. It was slated for demolition but a preservation group is trying to save it.

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