The former residence of Taiwan leader Chiang Ching-kuo may soon be turned into a cafe. Erm, a McCafé®.
McDonald’s has applied to open up shop inside the two-story villa located near West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a spokeswoman for McDonald’s Corp.
The McCafe coffee shop, selling tasteful items like 20-yuan lattes, cakes and sandwiches, can lease out the space as long as the original layout is not changed, according to Chen Wenjin, former deputy director of the Zhejiang Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage.
The villa, built in 1931, was home to Chiang for about a year before he took off to Taiwan when the Nationalists lost control of the mainland. For years, local authorities have been trying to rent the place out.
“The ownership of the residence changed several times in the last seven decades. There were few historic things left,” Chen said, adding that the residence would serve the public.
The public, however, may not be on board—at least if the reactions on social media are anything to go by. “Can we turn Mao’s old house into a KFC?” one web user jokingly asked.
If the shop does open, McDonald’s can only hope it lasts longer than the Starbucks in Beijing’s Forbidden City that closed down after seven years in 2007 because it attracted so much criticism from residents and visitors.
[Image via ECNS]