A McDonald’s in Flushing, Queens is at war with a group of Korean seniors who, for whatever reason, feel the need to sit in the restaurant all day long, day after day.
According to the New York Times, the group shuffles into the McDonald’s “on walkers, or with canes, in wheelchairs or with infirm steps, as early as 5 a.m. and often linger until well after dark.”
One of the group’s members, Man Hyung Lee, thinks the location’s policy that customers have 20 minutes to finish their food is unreasonable, but he and his friends have found several loopholes. They split small packets of fries, and when that fails, they simply exit and re-enter. “They ordered us out, so I left,” he told the Times. “Then I walked around the block and came right back again.”
The well-dressed group, which arrives each morning “in suits or dress slacks, brightly colored ties or sweaters, fedoras and well-shined shoes,” doesn’t even enjoy McDonald’s food. “We prefer our own Korean food,” one member told the Times.
The restaurant says the people are taking up seats and benches that could be used by meal-buying customers. So they’ve begun calling the police. And things are getting ugly. Says the Times:
Officers have stopped in as frequently as three times a day while on patrol, according to the patrons, who sidle away only to boomerang right back. Medium cups of coffee ($1.09 each) have been spilled; harsh words have been exchanged. And still — proud, defiant and stuck in their ways — they file in each morning, staging a de facto sit-in amid the McNuggets.
Despite having a civic center, Burger King, and another McDonald’s within a few blocks, the group refuses to uproot. They prefer to gossip and chat at this specific location. No one seems quite sure why (even the group can’t give a solid answer), but this much is clear: It’s probably smart to steer clear of the McDonald’s on Parsons and Northern Boulevards until this whole thing dies down a little.