Who needs a time machine when you have the Internet?
The internet has been buzzing with photos of a completely intact Burger King that looks shipped straight from the ’80s but still stands today, untouched by time or renovations. This vintage BK, located in the Concord Shopping Center in Wilmington, Delaware, has been closed since 2009 and the space seems largely unchanged since it first opened in the late ’80s.
The bins still ask longtime patrons to “get your trash in here somehow” in the fast-food giant’s signature font, and the space still has the look and feel of the original wooden floors. , patterned wallpaper and 80s-style wall decor. The closed restaurant is actually a nominal space on the rise.
As for what drew the internet’s attention to this piece of culinary history, a snapshot of the space originally taken by local Jonathan Pruitt on April 11 was posted on a local Facebook page. in Delaware, where, according to Pruitt, it was judged lightly on a local level before it took a big time.
Jonathan Pruitt said in a phone call with TODAY Food: “I don’t think about it. “But then, on Tuesday morning, people started telling me it was going viral on the internet and now? I do not know!”
Pruitt, who works in commercial and industrial HVAC systems in shopping malls and other places, said he was absolutely shocked by the attention his photo had garnered on the internet and now. hours, worldwide. He said he started receiving texts and phone calls about the image going viral on the internet starting Tuesday, June 28, when his photo posted on Redditwhere it has received more than 52,000 upvotes, at the same time on Twitterwhere the photo quickly went viral, garnering 23,698 retweets and over 185,000 likes.
“My Twitter account is about classic gaming and 80s and 90s nostalgic stuff,” user @RealJezebelley told TODAY via Twitter direct message regarding their viral tweet, adding that the photo clearly resonated with the longtime millennial Twitter base. “Many of us older millennials are turning or just turning 40. Seeing things from our childhood sparks particular joy as we move forward in our lives. many years.”
Obviously, the image has aroused a feeling of nostalgia in viewers both in faraway states and even in status lines. Later in the Twitter thread, a former employee of the mall posted a video of them taking this space, commenting that it was used as storage.
“That lmao is really my storage room in 2019,” they tweeted.
“I was working at a food service kiosk,” user @loserskwaddd told TODAY via direct message on Twitter. “It feels pretty weird. Just stuck in time. Very quiet compared to outside the mall. “
When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Burger King shared the following statement to TODAY:
“While we cannot confirm the details of this location, we have verified that the splendid vintage design and decor is consistent with the Burger King restaurants that operated over the years. 1980 and 1990 and this is in fact a former Burger King restaurant.”
For all the attention Pruitt’s photographs have received, a local politician in Delaware has provided a closer look at the space above. Live on Facebook with the general manager of the mall.
“Many people in our county and in our state have special childhood memories from that mall. That mall is in a very different place now than it was then,” Matt Meyer, CEO of New Castle County told TODAY.
Viewers of the clip will see Meyer picking up a bag of chips sitting on one of the tables. He said he and his staff brooded over them as they traveled through the space — but don’t worry, it was picked up from an open Burger King on the way to this particular space. Meyer appreciates the interest this restaurant relic is receiving.
“I think one reason it attracts so many people is because it’s a celebration,” Meyer said. “The design may be outdated and many people may not think it’s beautiful, but it represents a time when retail was a little more human. People gather together without fear.”
“I would love to see it turn into a nostalgic space. I’m sure people will eat it,” the mall’s general manager, Tom Dahlke, who also told TODAY that the store opened in 1987, means parts of that space are as old. Dirty Dancing” and “The Princess Bride.” “
As for what might happen to the space that has now received so much attention, the future of the empty burger business remains unclear. Dahlke says there are no serious offers for this space yet, even with all the attention, so anyone with the dream of opening a vintage-style burger joint seems to be taken from an episode of “Strange things“Pick up the phone later.
“I just think it looks really neat,” says Pruitt, noting that his first job was at a Burger King in the ’90s, though not in this particular location. “I know it was there. But the door was never opened.”
Well, to end it in a rather succinct way: Now it has been.
EDUCator’s Note (July 1, 2022 at 12:52 p.m. ET): This story has been updated with a statement from Burger King.