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    McDonald's to Test Co-Branded Boston Market Unit

    OAK BROOK, Ill. - McDonald's Corp. here said it would open a combination Boston Market/McDonald's restaurant in northwest Chicago later this month in its first test of co-branding.

    OAK BROOK, Ill. - McDonald's Corp. here said it would open a combination Boston Market/McDonald's restaurant in northwest Chicago later this month in its first test of co-branding.

    The dual-branded store will be corporate-owned and carry both Boston Market and McDonald's signs on the exterior. Inside the restaurant there will be separate kitchens, counters, and menu boards for each concept. The 4,000- square-foot restaurant will be decorated with hardwood floors, accent lighting, and cushioned seating used in newer Boston Market stores, but will also have a McDonald's drive-through window. The test is scheduled to run for a few months before being evaluated for possible expansion.

    McDonald's purchased the struggling Boston Market chain in 2000. Analysts expected McDonald's wanted the chain for cheap real estate, but it has since been working to revitalize the Golden, Colo.-based operator of 630 chicken restaurants with a new menu and tests of home delivery.

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