Early yesterday morning, Williamsburg's 22 year-old White Castle, an icon on the Eastern edge of the neighborhood, closed unceremoniously. That shouldn't come as a complete surprise, since the property was sold to a new owner last summer. As the Brooklyn Paper reported then, the location of the gritty but (to some) beloved burger joint will most likely make way for some fancy new condos. A spot check of the space yesterday revealed an empty storefront, a parking lot circled in yellow police tape, and a sad skeleton of the old sign. Passersby stopped to take photos so they could earnestly or ironically mourn the chain's demise and remember their last suitcase of burgers on social media. Here, some reactions.
BREAKING: White Castle of WBurg on Metropolitan has been stripped, is dead and gone. cc @kludt @EaterNY #TheShutter pic.twitter.com/92tBJcMhRf— Foster Kamer (@weareyourfek) September 28, 2014
yo, so, like, should we all go have a vigil outside the williamsburg white castle tonight?— Phillip Bowden (@pbowden) September 28, 2014
The end of an era: White Castle, the North Star of Eastern Williamsburg, is no more! https://t.co/m5kjtVEQCZ /cc @pbowden /ht @meowrey— Buzz Andersen (@buzz) September 28, 2014
@pbowden a guy i kinda knew got shot and then sued by the same person there— joe hcs (@on3ness) September 28, 2014
@darrylayo I will never shamefully carry home a suitcase full of burgers ever again....— Chandler Moses (@mosesBITES) September 29, 2014
@weareyourfek @kludt @EaterNY Condos! Atlantis Attic is next. Apparently they tried to buy out Harefield, too, but owners wouldn't sell— The Drink (@thedrinkbk) September 28, 2014
As the Bedford area of Williamsburg attracts an increasing number of upmarket retailers — note the anticipated J. Crew just opened this weekend — the affluence is beginning to trickle further afield into the eastern regions of the neighborhood, including Graham (where the White Castle plot sold for $6.72 million) and Grand where a discount department store was recently leveled to make way for a 63,000 square foot rental complex designed by architect Gene Kaufman.