A KFC franchisee turned a former bank in rural New York into ‘the most beautiful KFC in the world
On May 3, KFC opened one of the most impressive restaurants in its 25,000-location portfolio in Painted Post, New York.
KFC repurposed the Chemung Canal Trust Company bank building into the “Crystal Bucket,” named for its large windows.
The name and floor-to-ceiling windows are an homage to next-door neighbour Corning’s reputation as “The Crystal City,” for glass company Corning Incorporated and the Corning Museum of Glass.
“Distinctive and original, just like the iconic bucket, this new KFC features a unique design fitting for a region known for innovation,” VP of marketing activation for KBP Brands Tonya Mangels said in a statement.
Aside from the main atrium, everything about the building had to be repurposed to accommodate a fast food restaurant.
The whole building had to be stripped from its days as a bank to be turned into a restaurant.
About 70% of KFC’s US sales are through drive-thrus, so developer KBP included an updated drive-thru in the new design.
Though it’s not a double drive-thru, it’s clearly updated with clean lines and wood accents.
The drive-thru is more than just functional.
It also shows off the “American Showman” update that’s been rolled out in other KFC locations, both new and retrofitted.
Source: Nelson Worldwide
The design is intended to “celebrate the legacy of Colonel Sanders while also bringing his down-home values and showmanship to life,” designers at Nelson said of the American Showman branding.
Over two-thirds of KFC’s restaurants are now decorated in this style.
The contrasting red, white, and black are eye-catching from the street…
…though of course not as eye-catching as the massive windows.
The sign felt very classic KFC though, with a drawing of Colonel Sanders.
Every sign and piece of the exterior is a way to hammer home the KFC brand, which is all about tasty chicken.
The windows are stunning, and also provide ample real estate for photos of fried chicken to lure customers inside.
I especially liked the tiny details outside, like this painted KFC rock.
I finally went inside, curious to see how the bank interior had been transformed.
The design was very busy, with signs posted in every possible space.
Colonel Sanders was everywhere.
There was absolutely no danger of forgetting where I was, or why I was there.
I was struck by the sketch-style image of the Crystal Bucket on the wall near the entrance.
It felt very unique to the restaurant, which I liked.
The design played off of the building’s history as a bank.
My favorite detail was the repurposed vault door, now used to protect the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.
The floor-to-ceiling windows brought in plenty of light.
They made the whole restaurant feel more elevated, definitely nicer than the average fast food stop.
The ceiling and lighting were the most surprising details that I wasn’t anticipating from the outside.
The cathedral wood ceiling and hanging lights wouldn’t feel out of place at a much more formal restaurant.
Somehow, though, it fits perfectly with the windows and the classic Americana KFC design, and all came together.
Workers told me that the windows require frequent cleanings to keep them looking pristine.
They looked basically spotless during my visit.
The restaurant had several other aspects of KFC’s updated next-gen designs.
There was a pickup window right next to the counter for mobile orders placed on KFC’s app.
When restaurants do have these pickup shelves they can sometimes be hard to find or seem almost hidden, but this KFC had a large, lit-up arrow making it clear.
The back area of the former bank, which had lower ceilings than the rest, was converted into the kitchen.
Source: My Twin Tiers
In addition to digital menu boards, another digital screen displayed information about where the chickens were from and who was preparing them.
The atrium area seats about 40 people in the 2,500-square-foot space.
There was a mix of standard height tables, booths, and taller tables with stools.
KFC’s collaboration with Jack Harlow was impossible to miss, thanks to signs everywhere.
A drawing of Harlow’s face was even on my cup, in the same style as the drawing of Colonel Sanders, which I found a bit unsettling.
We ordered two Big Bucket meals, which each came with sides and drinks.
The chicken tenders are great, but I always love KFC’s sides most.
There was also a Mountain Dew flavor exclusive to KFC, though I stuck with my standard Diet Pepsi.
The sweet tea was also tempting.
Overall I was very impressed with the Crystal Bucket, which looked even better in person than I’d expected.
I definitely haven’t been to every location, but I understand why it’s called the most beautiful KFC in the world.
Article Source & Credit: Business Insider