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Restaurant of Reassurance: Sahara & Paradise McDonald’s

The nicest McDonald’s exterior in Las Vegas yearns for a time that never existed.

The Instagram-worthy crown jewel in the Las Vegas McDonald's portfolio is owned and operated by an independent franchisee whose retro-themed restaurant is always busy with drop-ins and drive-thrus.

Nostalgic for a time when the chain was designed by architect Stanley Clark Meston, no McDonald's ever actually existed in Las Vegas featuring these soaring roof angles, space-age sheen and book-ended golden arch supports.

This retro concept, located close to SLS Las Vegas, features a manicured garden, a '55 Chevy coupe outside the front door and the original McDonald's mascot, Speedee.

Speedee, a human with a hamburger-shaped head and a chef's hat, was fully phased out by 1967 to make way for Ronald, but represented the company's pioneering "Speedee Service System" of food preparation that was fast, cheap and profited by volume.

Golden oldies play out in this section of Paradise through speakers aimed at the vehicular customers and inside, where vintage photographs and chevron-styled booths meet neon-trimmed clocks.

While popular Las Vegas chain Johnny Rockets pays homage to a version of Americana best evoked by the fictitious Arnold's diner on TV's Happy Days, this genuine architectural tribute to actual vanished roadside America is largely ignored by the tourists, but very popular with locals and regulars from nearby businesses.

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