Closing A Wendy’s? Kinda Sad. Tearing Down McDowell’s Of ‘Coming To America’? Noooo!

Can I get a Big Mick, please?

Can I get a Big Mick, please?

How could you let this HAPPEN, Eddie Murphy?!?!? It’s like we can’t count on you for anything these days. To wit: the real-life Wendy’s that played the part of McDowell’s in Coming to America‘s — “They got the Golden Arches. Mine is the Golden Arcs”— is being torn down.

And for what, you may ask? What could possibly be more important than a place that played host to Arsenio Hall and Soul Glo jokes? A $106-million  six-story structure with luxury apartments and ground-floor stores, reports the Wall Street Journal. Le sigh, progress. Le sigh.

It was only yesterday, it seemed, that the Wendy’s was filled with characters like Murphy’s down-to-earth African prince, who wooed the boss’ daughter and triumphed over petty thieves like Samuel L. Jackson. In reality, it was 25 years ago this month when the movie debuted and ended up making $288 million worldwide.

Employees have been breaking down the Wendy’s for weeks in preparations for it to be razed and given a whole new look.

John Amos played the boss, Cleo McDowell, who claimed his restaurant was nothing like McDonald’s, so don’t even suggest it’s a copy. The actor said he’d still drive by it and reminisce, from time to time.

“It’s sort of a historical landmark for me,” he said. “There is an attachment to the brick and mortar, but everything crumbles in time and you have to make way for the new stuff. I guess they call it progress, and in the process we lose a lot of memories.”

Queens Boulevard Loses a Movie Icon, Disguised as a Fast Food Joint [Wall Street Journal]