Monday, April 15, 2013

The Landmark White Castle That Isn't A White Castle

I was recently wandering around the near south side of Chicago on an early Sunday morning. In the area where the old Levee vice district was located in between Chinatown and the Prairie st. historic district where the cities early mansions were located. At the corner of Wabash & Cermak was a White Castle and I was thinking it was a good spot for breakfast. Diagonally across the street on the south east corner I saw a small old building that looked a lot like an old White Castle with the tower and all. So naturally I shot a quick clip and when I got home did a bit of research.

As it turns out it was an old White Castle one of the first ones in the city and number 16 in the country. It was built in 1930 when the burgers were still a nickel and remained an outlet for sliders until the mid 1940's. Over the years it underwent a number of face lifts that totally changed it's appearance. And it wasn't until the owners of Chef Luciano & Gourmet Chicken bought the building that it was restored until it resembled it's former look. The white bricks were new and the tower was also added on.

Then in 2011 the city of Chicago designated the spot a landmark despite all the recent construction.

For those of you that don't live in the limited area where there are White Castles here's a few facts that might help to understand why this is a landmark. White Castle is the original fast food chain restaurant, before McDonalds, Burger King or anybody else there were these tasty little treats. And while there are other chains with far more outlets the “whitey one bite” was the first to sell a million burgers and the first to sell a billion. And while you can get frozen sliders nationwide (?) they're not bad but there a'int nothing like the real thing.

For more info about White Castle and how you can become a member of craver nation visit their web site.

And here is what it originally looked like.

And here's a look at the first Mc Donalds, in Des Plaines Il.

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