Ask a Native

The Mystery of the White Castle

The truth is out there--we never had one

whitecastleweb.jpgPeople like their precious little burgers. Even a recovered vegetarian will trek to enjoy excellent examples (all the way to Summerlin, it seems; thank you, Hops and Harvest!). But can burger love be strong enough to implant false memories?

Few columns have generated feedback like the recent one in which I stated that White Castle never had a location in Las Vegas. Eager readers insisted that the brand’s signature blue-and-white castle o’ beef was indeed here about 25 years ago.

Reader Don “vaguely recall(ed)” a White Castle “at the Riviera in the mid-1980s,” but most remembered another. Richard D. says the slider spot “was at Maryland Parkway north of Sahara [Avenue] in 1987. I ate there several times a week with friends from work … I think the White Castle is a dry cleaner now.” Uh-oh. I recall that old dry cleaner as being the original location of P.J. Russo’s Deli, but maybe in the interim …

Pam M., who has lived in town for 44 years, “could swear that there was a White Castle in Las Vegas, either in the late 1980s or early 1990s. It was on Maryland Parkway just north of Sahara, at the corner of Almond Tree Lane. I remember, because I never got any since the lines were always so long. Unfortunately, it didn’t last too long.”

And Cheryl N. recalls something south of Sahara, a White Castle “on the corner of Maryland Parkway and Vegas Valley Drive” near the old Keyboard Lounge, remembering it was there “for a short time in the late 1980s.”

Intrigued and surprised, I queried my editor, another longtime Las Vegan. No White Castle. I asked my mother. No White Castle. I asked myself (again), pondering deeply if my vegetarianism had acted as a burger-joint blinder. Still, no White Castle.

So, I went to The Source:

“Thank you for your recent inquiry to White Castle. We really enjoy hearing from our Cravers! Unfortunately, no, there was never a White Castle in Las Vegas, NV.”

So that settles it! Not. Could all these folks be wrong? This mystery is turning into Vegas’ very own X-File. Anyone have any irrefutable evidence to share? Perhaps a regressive hypnosis session held under the smell of grilled, rehydrated onions …

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