Jan. 25, 2022 By Christian Murray
The burger chain White Castle will permanently close its Jackson Heights restaurant Wednesday after being in operation at that location since 1935, according to a company spokesperson.
“It was a tough decision to close,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle, referring to the 88-08 Northern Blvd. site. “This restaurant served so many [people] for 86 years, 5 months and 25 days.”
Richardson said that the company has no plans to close any of the other restaurants in Queens and he said that business overall is doing well.
“We have a commitment to Queens that goes back to the 1930s and that is not changing,” Richardson said.
White Castle has restaurants in Sunnyside, Elmhurst, Bayside, Ozone Park, Jamaica and Queens Village.
Richardson said that all the employees at the Jackson Heights location have been offered positions at other White Castle locations. He didn’t disclose why the Jackson Heights restaurant is closing but sources said that sales were weak.
Richardson said that some of White Castle’s upper management once worked there. He said that John Vogt, who is currently the chairperson of Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, got his start there in 1970 working behind the grill. He worked his way up and became a regional manager before retiring in recent years.
The future of the property, which is owned by White Castle, is not yet known. Richardson chose not to comment as to the company’s plans for the site.
The company closed its regional headquarters at 69-01 34th Ave. in 2014. The city bought the property and built PS 398Q: The Hector Figueroa School.
White Castle is a family-owned business that currently operates in 377 locations across 13 states. It has been credited as the world’s first fast-food hamburger chain, founded on Sept. 13, 1921.
The popular burger chain is best known for its small, square hamburgers referred to as sliders.
I moved to North Carolina in 1999, l grew up in Queens, NY. I have fond memories eating at White Castle, with my friends and family. I feel sad that White Castle is closing.
Will the last person to leave this city, please turn off the lights; soon there will be nothing left.
I want to come 1 more time
Article states that a source said sales were weak. It’s a tough go in NYC for fast food (that tiny drive thru didn’t help). Status of the one in Harlem is in the air too, closed recently, ostensibly for repairs.
Did you know that March 10th will mark the 101st Anniversary of White Castle?. Bill Ingram and Walt Anderson opened their first store in Wichita, Kansas with only $700 dollars on March 10th, 1921. It became the first national fast food hamburger chain. The original price was only 5 cents. In the early 1960’s, my parents would take me to the Kitty City Amusement Park which was just west of today’s Alley Pond Golf Center on Northern Blvd. Our next stop would be the Bayside White Castle on the corner of Bell and Northern Blvd. It was originally opened in 1932 and is still in business today. Even in the 1960’s, there was no seating area, just one long counter. It was a simple menu offering seven cents burgers or fourteen cents for a double slider, french fries and soda at low cost.. As I got older, White Castle would become a late night stop for a quick snack before going home. Prior to my 1997 wedding, Frank Sinatra was quoted in GQ Magazine saying he would always have White Castle hamburgers flown in to any performances in Las Vegas. My wife and I decided to honor the “Chairman of the Board” and had 200 sliders delivered to the Sky Line Princess in Flushing as part of our wedding reception. Every Valentines Day, they offer a special menu and treat for customers.
Today White Castle faces many other competitors such as McDonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Five Guys, Checkers, Hardees, Roy Rogers, Sonic, Shake Shack, Smash Burger and others. For me, nothing beats a half dozen White Castle Hamburgers topped with cheese, extra onions and pickles!
Why is it closing since the business is doing well? Really sad that businesses don’t really care about it’s faithful customers.
I went to that White Castle when I was in the 3rd grade I am now 86
My father hung out there I hung out there all my friends hung out there it’s like a piece of me going away just like everything else in Jackson heights so many memories you can’t even imagine place was always packed so I don’t understand it but I guess the properties worth more than the sliders very sad
I will miss this location ,as a young child,our parents, would bring us for burger’s as we sat,in the car,and they would bring our food, rolling skating to the car window, I will always remember that location, the best in Queens 😥
Sorry it’s closing I worked at that castle in 1984 to 88 so sad
You need to open a few around Florida, specifically in SW Florida……
Sad, the end of an era.
Will be missed, first White Castle I ever went.
Please no I love that I place