The Rue Montorgueil, an idyllic Paris neighborhood once home to an enormous food market where Julia Child did her shopping, is fighting to keep McDonald’s from entering its midst.
One official has spent at least four years blocking the American burger chain’s attempts to set up shop, and it’s getting even more difficult as Europe and the United States negotiate a free trade deal.
“People living here don't want McDonald's,” local official Olivia Hicks told NPR. “Small business people on the street don't want McDonald's. Nobody wants McDonald's.”
Earlier this month, Paris officials prevented the company from getting a permit, though McDonald’s has made it clear that it will appeal the decision. Some Parisians have criticized the resistance to McDonald’s, pointing out the opportunities for employment — but for now, locals are content to go elsewhere in Paris for their Big Macs.
“Stendhal and Balzac used to come here, and they'd talk about these restaurants on the streets in their books,” said Hicks. “And once you have a McDonald's, it becomes like every other street in the rest of the world.”