On July 8, 2021, TikTok user @triangleofmass posted a new urban exploration video recorded inside an abandoned McDonald's restaurant. According to our past correspondence with McDonald's corporate contacts, some of the furnishings inside the restaurant can be traced back to the mid-1980s. However, it appeared to perhaps close later around 2007.
The clip was a preview of a full-length video that was released two days later on YouTube on the Triangle of Mass YouTube channel. (After we published this story, another YouTube user named ADHD Urbex informed us that they also released a video that appeared to explore the same McDonald's location. It was uploaded just before Triangle of Mass posted his video.)
Not Taco Bell
The restaurant's furnishings made it appear almost as if it were a time capsule to the 1980s.
A number of TikTok commenters claimed that it looked like the abandoned restaurant might have been a Taco Bell before it became a McDonald's. The top comment read: "The first part was definitely a Taco Bell." This was because of the faded pink and blue color scheme on the tables and chairs, as well as the tile under the front counter.
However, some of our own past reporting about a McDonald's restaurant in Oregon allowed us to confirm that the fast food chain used this same color scheme around the mid-1980s. The furniture fit McDonald's color scheme from the time period and did not have anything to do with Taco Bell.
According to the full-length video, the McDonald's restaurant may have been closed and abandoned in 2007. Its location was not disclosed by the video's creator, @triangleofmass, likely to keep his whereabouts anonymous and secret.
It appeared that much of the restaurant's furniture and equipment was left behind. This was likely because much of it was dated and would not have been of much use to other McDonald's locations.
The items left behind in the abandoned McDonald's included: tables, chairs, computer monitors, food preparation and warming equipment, soft drink machines, food containers, and a hot chocolate machine. We also spotted a box for Chicken McNuggets, food signage, and various bins.
One shot in the video even showed a special McDonald's bag for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. "I remember when the bags looked like that," said a TikTok comment with hundreds of likes. "Omg that bag is sooo nostalgic, memory lane," remarked another commenter.
Interview with Triangle of Mass
We reached out by email to the person behind the Triangle of Mass account in order to find out more.
We first asked Triangle of Mass what stood out to him about the abandoned McDonald's. "What surprised me was the fact that everything was intact inside and nothing was really damaged. It's almost like someone could buy the building and put something in there right away with everything just there. It totally gives off this amazing retro vibe that is very nice."
As for his favorite video he's posted, he told us: "My favorite [place I've explored] is a hard one for me since there are so many amazing locations out there, and you're never gonna know what you'll find. I would have to say the doctor's house as it's just such a rare location and not many people have been there."
We asked why he believes abandoned buildings are considered interesting to so many viewers. "I honestly think abandoned places are so fascinating [because] everything was at one point active, and the fact that stuff was just left behind... there's history left there," he said. "Someone may have walked those halls, and now everything is just so different. It's no longer active. [It] just sits there decaying."
"Some of these locations are honestly breathtaking and the fact that I have the ability to show someone my work is amazing, but nothing would ever do a place justice unless you were to explore and see what it's all about!"