Thursday, January 8, 2015

White Castle Memories Part 3

The W. 117th Store on Closing Day, December 24, 2014
I hadn't eaten too often at the White Castle on W. 117th during the last few years. I'd been trying to eat a little healthier, so my visits became less frequent. But every once in a while, I'd get overcome with the desire for a White Castle and would head over there for lunch.

A few years ago, I noticed that the store was now co-branded with Church's Chicken. I figured it must not have been doing well on its own. I wasn't too surprised, then, when I heard on the news that the Northern Ohio stores would be closing on Christmas Eve.

I decided that I'd try to eat there a few times before it closed.

On my first visit, the drive-through line was horrendous so I went inside. The minimal crew was just finishing up a carry-out order – for ninety burgers – that had really gummed up the works. While I was waiting for my order (a healthy combo of three White Castles and an order of clam strips), an older woman who had placed an order finally learned that the store was closing.

She was quite upset. "Now where am I supposed to go?" she shouted at the young gal at the register. She then noticed the small stack of flyers (at left) announcing the closing, and picked up one. "I don't even know where these other stores are, or how to get there," she complained.

The White Castle employee pointed out that all of the stores listed on the flyer were closing. She reminded the woman that the stores in Columbus and Cincinnati would remain open, however.

This did not make the angry woman any happier. I thought about mentioning to her that she could probably find frozen White Castles in the freezer section of her local grocery store, but I chickened out.

I could sympathize with her, though. She obviously felt that something she enjoyed was unfairly being taken away from her.

To me, White Castle was a symbol of the happy days I spent living in Columbus in the 1970s and early 80s. Whenever I ate at a White Castle, I was reliving memories – and reconnecting with my college years, a time that is rapidly disappearing in the rear view mirror of my life.

I suppose that's kind of silly.

Anyway, it's been a couple years since I've been down to Ohio State – so I guess it's time for a road trip this year. At least I know where I'll be having lunch.

My last White Castle


Anonymous said...

When I was living in Cols in the late 70's after the late night gig, we would go to WC for a "rat burger and a bag of tails" lol Rae

Dan Brady said...

Hi Rae!
I didn't mention it on any of my posts, but that's what they used to call them in the dorm too! I didn't know if anyone else called them that!

Anonymous said...

My sister and her husband once told me that they called them "belly bombers" which kind of lessened my liking for them just a little. Still, I DID like them, and the place that was over by the Midway Mall, and was sorry to see it go. I have seen a lot of put downs of White Castle over the years.