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Gigantic queue for first Moscow McDonald’s, 1990

30,000 Russians queue for the first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union, January 30th 1990.

McDonald’s opens its first restaurant in Moscow’s Pushkin Square, amid much pandemonium. The branch instantly becomes the largest one, able to serve 700 diners at a time. First opened in January 1990, the queue extened all the way around the corner, as Soviet citizens scrambled to savour American fast food. The Russian capital is now home to over a hundred McDonald’s restaurants. Following the success of the first branch, the chain set up shop in China 10 months later.

The restaurant was shut down for vilolating health sanctions in August-September 2014 and re-opened on 19 November 2014 to much fanfare.