The McDowell’s fast food restaurant, clearly a knockoff of McDonald’s was filmed in Queens at what was then a Wetson’s (a chain restaurant, which later became Wendy’s). The address for the filming location for McDowell’s in Coming to America was at 85-07 Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst. The actual address is mentioned in Coming to America during the scene in the auditorium when Akeem sees Lisa McDowell (played by Shari Headley) for the first time. The host of the event, Reverend Brown (also played by Arsenio Hall) helps to advertise McDowell’s.
Today, there is no Wetson’s or Wendy’s at that address at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Broadway and definitely no McDowell’s. Like much of New York City real estate, it has been turned into….a condo!