Customers were up early Friday morning — or, perhaps, didn’t go to sleep — in Bolingbrook to get their first taste of CosMc’s, the beverage-focused, drive-thru-only concept just launched by McDonald’s.
A company spokesperson said cars began lining up as early as 3:30 a.m., and when the drive-thru opened at 6 a.m., 20 cars rolled in with drivers ready to place their orders.
By noon, about 150 cars were waiting in a line that stretched south from the yellow-and-blue restaurant at 285 N. Weber Road and wrapped west around the shopping plaza to the opposite end.
Workers wearing yellow coats and beanies and blue gloves guided drivers who waited about 2 1⁄2 hours, despite the three-lane drive-thru access. Police officers eventually helped direct traffic.
McDonald’s announced in July that it would test out the new concept, based on its alien character CosMc that appeared in commercials in the ’80s and ’90s.
The Bolingbrook location marks the first CosMc’s. The Chicago-based chain plans to open about 10 more pilot locations in Texas by the end of 2024, before determining a further expansion of the test sites.
The restaurant offers a variety of lemonades, teas, blended drinks and coffee. Customers can also customize their drink with flavor syrups, energy or vitamin C shots, among other additions.
It also serves sandwiches and sides, such as a spicy queso sandwich, savory hash brown bites and pretzel bites, as well as McDonald’s classics like Egg McMuffin sandwiches and the McFlurry.
The TikTok factor
Some customers, including Joanna Staffa, 40, of Glendale Heights, said she learned about CosMc’s on TikTok.
Waiting in the car with Staffa was West Side resident Dana Matundan and Rea Unalidia, who was visiting from Virginia. Staffa said they added a stop at CosMc’s to their agenda, which included a trip to Christkindlmarket.
“It’s been like one and a half of a Taylor Swift album,” Staffa said of their wait time. “So, we’ve done ‘1989.’ We’re now halfway through ‘Red (Taylor’s Version).’”
Staffa said they planned to order a long list of items and were determined to wait as long as it took — and that they were used to being patient.
“I waited six hours for a hot dog once,” Matundan said.
“We’ve done the Taylor Swift queue on Ticketmaster,” Staffa added.
Kevin Jackson, 32, of Westmont, also saw videos of CosMc’s on TikTok. Halfway through the line, he ran low on gas. He got out of line to refuel and said he returned to the line.
“It’s worth it,” Jackson said. “It’s probably better to go today than any of the other days. Most people are probably at work today.”
He said he planned to order the Sour Cherry Energy Burst drink and S’mores Cold Brew.
Unlike Staffa, he didn’t intend to put his purchases on TikTok.
“I don’t like to post, but I like to watch.”
So, how do the drinks taste?
Customers can buy a trio of drinks for less than $20. For example, the blueberry ginger boost green tea with vitamin C cost $5.39; the tumeric-spiced latte was $4.89; and the sour cherry energy burst, a slushy with tapioca balls, or boba, was $5.89.
The blueberry ginger boost was the standout — sweeter with each sip and characterized by a kick of ginger. The sour cherry energy burst was even more refreshing, with sweetness cutting through the tangy taste, and delicious boba accentuating the drink. The tumeric-spiced latte — recommended hot instead of iced by an employee — was a bit bland.
Another popular drink among customers on Friday was the churro frappé ($5.79).
And of the food items offered a favorite of the day was its spicy queso sandwich.