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Eat to the beat


The White Castle hamburger chain – home of the original “sliders” – has been around for decades, and it plans to be around for many, many more years. Recently, it released a couple of bare-bone details of its “Restaurant of the Future,” and the chain itself said that while it moves its restaurants into the future, it is not at the loss of its history.

Coming in 2018 at an undisclosed location, the “new” White Castle prototype—designed in partnership with architectural firm MG2–will feature outdoor seating and flexible indoor-outdoor convertible dining areas.

In addition, there will be numerous interactive features in the prototype, including an interactive drive-through and mobile ordering.

But frankly, people don’t go there for the architecture, do they?

They go for those little hamburgers on those little puffs of rolls, they go for the fries, and they go for the milkshakes.

And they also go for the nostalgia factor, too.

No, it isn’t as cheaply priced as it used to be, but you can still get a bargain at White Castle.

On a personal note, White Castle is probably the first fast-food chain I ever ate at, simply because in the early 1960s, it was probably one of the few, if not the only, of the burgeoning fast-food chains getting their feet wet across America that was available in New York City.

I remember that when I was a little kid, my father and I used to go to the White Castle near my grandparents’ house in Queens. I don’t remember the exact location, but I do remember the fun we had at that place.

We would order our hamburgers, our fries, and especially, our milkshakes, bring them to my father’s car, go into the car, being careful not to drop anything, and sit there and eat like we were kings.

I think for less than $5 we had enough food to fill us up for the entire day, and it was economical, too, although probably not too healthy … but it was so much fun!

And again, architecture aside, high-tech aside, the hamburgers really are the calling card for the chain, so if they want to bring local White Castles into the 21st century, that is fine.

But honestly, who goes to White Castle to admire the architecture? You can’t eat the walls, you know.

Lawrence Lapka

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