Brixton McDonald's Graffiti-Inspired New Look Called 'Truly Offensive' By Jay Rayner

06/03/2016 16:30 | Updated 06 March 2016

A "fresh" makeover of a south London branch of McDonald's has caused outrage for using fake graffiti in an area known for its street art.

Commenters have called the redesign of McDonald's in Brixton, complete with faux-vandalised walls and lampshades, "fake hipster graffiti" and declared "Brixton is over".

Food critic Jay Rayner labelled it "truly offensive" - though others though the complaints were "first world problems".

The renovation uses graffiti-covered lampshades and a large blue wall which has been "tagged", in what McDonald's calls an "exciting and fresh" revamp.

The design in Brixton, which is also known for its rapid gentrification that has caused a backlash from people who feel they're being forced out, has been called a misguided attempt to look "edgy" and an "epic fail".

Rayner later re-evaluated his statement, saying that he felt the McDonald's was "crass" and "sad" rather than offensive, and pointed out that his criticism was not about the use of graffiti, but the specific use of 'tagging', the signatures put on graffiti which he said are connected to "claiming territory".

Lee Dema, who runs the St Matthew’s Project, a youth network for young people in Brixton, told The Independent: “This is just another misguided attempt by suits to identify with ‘edgy’ Brixton.

"I just thought they thought 'Brixton, yeah, what's Brixton like? Graffiti, yeah we'll do that'."

Brixton was hit by protests in April 2015 over the gentrification in the area, where residents are being forced out of shops and homes due to rising rents and house prices in the increasingly fashionable location.

A branch of the estate agents Foxtons had its windows smashed in, although the group behind the protest publicly distanced itself from the vandalism.

Commenters online said the new look for the food outlet was "trying too hard guys", while one asked "Brixton, is Ronald about to drop a grime album as well?"

Student publication The Tab said that while the observations about gentrification were "fair", there was "something else wrong with the restaurant’s design. It’s just really hideous".

McDonald's has been rolling out the graffiti-themed interior design to its restaurants across the country.

The fast food chain said in a statement: “The exciting and fresh designs used in Brixton are in use across the UK and in other markets and have received a great reception.

"With self-order kiosks and free-to-use tablets, the refreshed restaurant has digital innovation at its heart and provides customers with more choice in how they order and pay.

"We look forward to hearing what local residents think of their new McDonald’s.”


Here are some more reactions to the Brixton McDonalds' new look:

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