The Restaurant Formerly Known As McDonald's Russia Has A New Logo

McDonald's Russia first turned off its lights and shut its doors in early March, just over a week after President Vladimir Putin ordered forces to invade Ukraine. The closure, which affected 850 stores across the country, was meant to be temporary, and McDonalds said it would continue paying all of its 62,000 employees who had remained loyal to the brand, per Radio Free Europe

Just three months later, the restaurant formerly known as McDonald's Russia is back, sporting a new bright orange and green logo, and ready to open in Moscow's Pushkin Square — the very same branch that, according to The Guardian, McDonald's first opened in 1990.

To be sure, its logo looks nothing like the Golden Arches (which is trademarked), and more like a burger with two fries — a look which one person claimed looked like "the Marriott hotel logo crossed with the flag of Bangladesh". Its new name is still a mystery. But there was no mistaking the fact that just less than a month after the chain sold all its restaurants to franchisee Alexander Govor, per Al Jazeera, the burgers, if not the brand, was ready to make a comeback.

Fifteen stores are reopening on Russia Day

The Guardian reports that 15 stores are meant to reopen in Russia on June 12, which is known throughout the country as "Russia Day," or the day the Russian Federation was founded. And while no name has been announced to go with the new logo, the BBC reports the restaurant's new owners, Sistema PBO, are looking at eight possible names, including "Tot Samyi" (the same one) and "Svobodnaya Kassa" or "available cash register." And to the naysayers that aren't too keen on the new logo, Sistema says the logo actually means something: "The green background of the logo symbolizes the quality of products and service that our guests are accustomed to."

The New York Times indicates that other than the logo and the name, little appears to have changed at the restaurants, which have been "de-Arched." Former McDonald's employee Yevgeny Shumilkin returns to work on Sunday using the same uniform. The only difference? In place of the "M," there is a Russian flag. Shumilkin, who works at one Moscow branch, also promises that the restaurant will "[have] the same buns. Just under a different name."

Other changes from the previous McDonald's Russia

Reopening McDonald's in Russia under a new logo and a new owner hasn't been as difficult — or as painful — as it could have been. Even though we need to wait until the day it opens to find out what the new restaurant is called, it has taken just weeks to come up with a new logo. McDonald's old app was renamed "My Burger" as a temporary place holder and recycled, per Reuters. The menu might even look almost identical, since The New York Times says when the Golden Arches ceased operations, almost all the ingredients were being supplied by Russian suppliers. This means getting them back on board wouldn't have been much of a problem. 

Still, the restaurant formerly known as McDonald's Russia will have two tweaks to its original menu: the Times says its hash browns will no longer be known as that; and don't expect to find any Big Macs, since the "special sauce" is still a McDonald's secret, which wasn't divulged.