Royal Castle

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MiamiDon
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2008/02/21 10:39:45 (permalink)

Royal Castle

I am going to meet a friend for lunch next week at what I think is the last remaining Royal Castle, at NW 27th Avenue and NW 79th Street in Miami (or close to it).

Am I correct, or are there others still open?

BTW, the Arnold's Royal Castle at NW 7th Avenue & NW 125th Street had a fire (or something), and has never re-opened.
#1

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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/02/21 12:26:55 (permalink)
    I can remember eating often in a Royal Castle that was on Biscayne Boulevard almost directly across from Bayfront Park and Pier 5 where I worked on a charter fishing boat. I loved that Royal Castle. I had no idea there were any left.

    #2
    sodawater43
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/02/21 16:46:13 (permalink)
    I have fond memories of Royal Castle. Great little burgers and a frosted mug of birch beer.
    #3
    DandyDog
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/02/21 22:44:21 (permalink)
    They are reopening one on 7th Avenue according to Chowhound. Also on their forum there are a lot of negitive views on the current location on NW 27th Ave.
    #4
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/02/28 09:24:30 (permalink)
    I woke up today to find an article about the 27th Ave Royal Castle in the Miami Herald.

    Hopefully, this link will work for a while:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/multimedia/news/27avenue/partthree.html
    #5
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/15 06:33:51 (permalink)
    I finally made it to The Last Royal Castle, at 2700 NW 79th Street in Miami.



    While the menu seems to consist of a sort of shortened Southern/Soul-food diner fare, they still pride themselves in selling the old Royal Castle "sliders".



    My dining companion, Bishop Jones of Liberty City, at the counter:


    Handy pictures of the food:


    A Six-Pack of Sliders:


    We split a six-pack of sliders, and they were as I remember them - little burgers with finely diced onions on spongy buns, spread with mustard and ketchup. Maybe it was the nostalgia, but I enjoyed them.
    #6
    ellen4641
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/16 14:09:27 (permalink)
    Nice report, MiamiDon..

    Since I never made it to Royal Castle last week, I can experience it vicariously through YOU !

    I was glad you showed the slider pic..... and was grateful I could see some of the burger meat peeking through!

    I'm missing that Florida warmth already! It's a rainy day in NJ, with a chill in the air.
    At least in south Florida when it rained, it was still WARM ...

    ellen

    p.s. Thanks for that extra nice e-mail.... (reply coming)
    #7
    ann peeples
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/16 14:33:01 (permalink)
    Looks like my kind of place, Miami Don.Thanks for the pics and description..
    #8
    rmcielwain
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/29 18:54:43 (permalink)

    Royal Castle - Even though I've never been to one, I remember them for:

    1. One location displayed in "Goldfinger" when Oddjob is taking the Lincoln to the scrap yard
    to have it crushed.

    2. As a trading card collector, still have an article when they issued a set of cards featuring the
    expansion Miami Dolphins (back in 1967?).
    #9
    leethebard
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/29 18:58:19 (permalink)
    I guess Royal Castle was patterned after white Castle?????
    #10
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/30 06:24:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by leethebard

    I guess Royal Castle was patterned after white Castle?????


    I was going to suggest following the link in the first post, but for you LTB:

    "William Singer got the idea for Royal Castle in Columbus, Ohio. The only restaurant that stayed afloat there during the Depression, he would say, sold small hamburgers for pennies. It was a quaint chain called White Castle."

    #11
    leethebard
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/30 09:09:44 (permalink)
    Thanks Miamidon...interesting history.
    #12
    edwmax
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/03/30 14:57:05 (permalink)
    It looks the same. I flipped burgers at the one at I-75 in the Tifton, Ga in 1971 for awhile. College days. I didn't know any were still open.
    #13
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/04/04 11:21:25 (permalink)
    I went by the location of the closed Royal Castle in North Miami. It's one block west of the exit from I-95 at NW 125th Street. It closed a couple of years ago after a fire, but there is a sign in the front window now announcing that it will be re-opening. Evidently Arnold, the owner, got some sort of loan or grant from the city of North Miami's economic development fund (Way to go, Arnold!). There are building department work permits stuck to the front, so I guess it's for real.



    I finally figured out that the woman in the photo is waiting in the shade for a bus.

    I took the picture from a Wendy's parking lot.
    #14
    andy749
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/05/11 20:13:00 (permalink)
    I lived in Miami in the 60s and remember Royal Castle well. Last time I was down there was really disappointed that they seemed to be no more. I even remember their jingle that was played on Charlie Baxter's afternoon cartoon show with the moose. I have an old RC coffee mug in my collection today.

    To answer another poster's question, I'm sure they were patterned after White Castle...as were Krystal and a bunch of others. I always thought that the RCs were maybe a bit sweeter than a WC slider...?


    #15
    roossy90
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/05/12 17:15:20 (permalink)
    OH.. memorieeeeeesssssssss!..
    I used to hit the one on Coral Way near the Palmetto X-Way after getting out of school (West Miami Jr High).. Walked home with a mouthful of burgers!..
    Then when I could drive in Senior High (Miami Coral Park), we would hit it before school AND after!....

    The birch beer was to die for!.. I loved to sit at the counter near the grill and watch them make the burgers... I was in awe.. I remember just staring and watching him...
    Now that I think about it, he probably thought I was an odd child.

    But I can still smell those onions on the grill!

    Thanks Don!... I am homesick now.
    (But that location you went to can be a scary one now!)
    #16
    DawnT
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/07 00:13:08 (permalink)
    I resurrected this thread because my Dad and I were trying to remember the burger assembly process. It differed from White Castle and Krystal's slightly. Here's what we could remember:

    There was a little pit in the back of the grill that held the onions. First, little piles of onions were put out on the grill. Little, frozen patties seperated by waxpaper were laid out on the grill over each pile of onions. Round with no holes. Had to be more then a dozen made at once.

    Meantime, the heel of rolls were laid out on the cutting board in front of the grill and graced with
    mustard,catsup,and pickle chip.

    The burgers were fliped once and covered with crowns. There was a hood over the grill that was lowered. If cheese was added, it was put on at this point under the crown.

    With a spatula, each burger/crown was then placed on the heel/condiments to finish the burgers.

    They had a holding cabinet that burgers were put into that maintained temp and probably humidity. Burgers were individually removed with a piece of serving wax paper.

    Are we missing anything that anyone remembers? I'm not 100% positive that this correct.

    Roossy, do you remember the evening manager at that location by '826? in the early 70's? Big guy named Bob. That must have been about '70-'73. He told me that the onions were dried onion flakes reconstituted with a broth that gave that distinctive smell and taste. Many of the places that I first remembered didn't have AC and were open air and didn't have the orange/white scheme. People used to stand and wait for the counter seats. They later put tiny juke boxes between each seat mounted on the counter. Most of those places were the original white tile stores that were everywhere inset in city blocks. In downtown Miami there were several to a block in some cases. They closed in some of them for AC before they changed into the newer free-standing restaurants like the pictures above. There were always cops in the back. Singer fed them free for cheap insurance. I remember the fresh,squeezed orange juice they made from the orange halves too. They had a simple menu and operating concept then. Burgers,burgers w/cheese,soup of the day,egg breakfasts w/toast,cereal, 2 types of dougnuts and a honey bun. Coffee,OJ,milk,and Birch Beer (frozen mug with the little ice disk that fell out from under the cup). RC started to go into the pits when they started the bigger,independent restaurants with the sloping roofs that had an extended menu with their version of the Whopper,fries and all kinds of other fast food offerings that departed from their simple model. Big brough-ha-ha localy when they took on Orange Julius and featured a television commercial had a women whisper that she thought she tasted white wine in the drink. There was a devil characture used to promote the drink and it's slogan "a devilsh good drink" (I think). Between the insinuation of alcohol and the devil, the local clergy had a field day and the company took a lot of heat. Hey this was the '60's still in the Old South. Singer even gave the burgers away for 5 cents on Nixon's inaugaration. There was a story to the few remining stores that stayed open. I don't recall the details but there were court battles over operating the restaurants as "Royal Castle" in concept and name. Maybe MiamiDon knows about this. Several places reopened as independent restaurants with their own menu. Some still made the little burgers, but none ever tasted the same.
    #17
    roossy90
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/07 00:19:36 (permalink)
    Holy Cow!
    I can't even remember my teachers names from school, much less the manager at RC....LOL
    I went to West Miami Jr. High, so I was in there quite often after school, and then during lunch break at Coral Park Sr.(69-72).
    Used to skip first period, which was study hall, and drive over for some "sliders" sometimes in the AM.
    Sorry... thats waaay to long ago for this blonde!
    Tara
    #18
    DawnT
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/07 00:55:45 (permalink)
    Coral Park eh? Like Vic Perky,Bruce Clark,Mike Kadel,Robby Porras? Think they were all about '72 Linda Long '70? or the entire Long Clan? Geesh, forgot most everyones names too. Oldtimers disease starting to set in for us I guess.

    dt
    #19
    sodawater43
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/07 08:25:40 (permalink)
    Does anybody know if Arnolds Royal Castle has reopened?
    #20
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/07 11:41:02 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by sodawater43

    Does anybody know if Arnolds Royal Castle has reopened?


    As of this morning, it had not. I'll post here when it does.
    #21
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/07 11:54:11 (permalink)
    Dawn, I remember that at the old-time RC's that the burgers were removed from a drawer, but I never paid attention to the cooking method. I left Miami in September of 1971, and when I came back in 1977, I think that most of them had closed.

    Oddly enough, I was going in to Enrique's Tacos on US-1 just north of Caribbean Drive the other month, and I noticed the old signature RC emblem in the walkway - must have been a Royal Castle years ago.
    post edited by MiamiDon - 2008/12/31 17:48:11
    #22
    DawnT
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/07 14:50:59 (permalink)
    The old RC's that were inset in city blocks such as the ones in downtown and older sections of Miami had a very neat,unified, and compact design. Those were the ones that had an almost solid,stainless backplane and only counter seating. The rear wall above and below the rear counter was filled with cubbies that had little doors covering them. Those were unlike the pictures above where they had much more space to work with in the latter free-standing restaurants. My vivid recollections were from one nearby my house from the very early 60's. It couldn't have been more then 150' from where I lived and the breakfasts were so cheap that my grandfather would often go there taking me along in tow.

    For some reason the prices started to escalate by the mid 60's to the point that it wasn't worth going there. I can remember hamburgers 10-12 cents climbing to 38-45 cents by the end of the decade. How that reflected the cost of living increases of the time I don't know. I remember my dad grumbling that the the steady increases were paying for the newer expansion of the time and it must have been significant enough that I remember my mom's classmates at Lindsey-Hopkins collectively quit going to the one next door on NE 2nd and opting to go elsewhere. The steady price increases,tampering with the menu and old business model had a negative effect on those over 30. That wasn't unique to RC though. For the very same reasons many establishments suddenly began to expand and change similarly. Look at BK,McDonalds,Dairy Queen and others that did the very same from walk-up windows. Older folks like my parents resented that change from the simple and familliar and saw the rising costs,percieved quality, and turbulence of those times as disenfranchising factors that drove many of them away. The introduction of in-your-face portion control and new management and operating styles further distanced this demographic. Think here's where RC blew it. Krystal's didn't tamper with the simple model and only expanded into free-standing resaurants. You could still go there and get a bag of sliders for a reasonable sum.
    #23
    roossy90
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/11 22:12:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by DawnT

    Coral Park eh? Like Vic Perky,Bruce Clark,Mike Kadel,Robby Porras? Think they were all about '72 Linda Long '70? or the entire Long Clan? Geesh, forgot most everyones names too. Oldtimers disease starting to set in for us I guess.

    dt

    Hey Hey Hey.... speak for yourself about the Oldtimers stuff!...
    Do I know you?
    Those names dont ring a bell to me" />.. LOL.
    #24
    DawnT
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    RE: Royal Castle 2008/08/11 23:24:24 (permalink)
    I didn't attend Coral Park Tara. I was part of a church group that was mostly CP students from '70-'74. I contracted OT when I received my "greetings" card from the AARP a few years ago.

    dt
    #25
    loveexoticwomen
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    Re:Royal Castle 2008/12/31 17:18:44 (permalink)
    Thanks Michael Hoffman for this link !!!!
    #26
    loveexoticwomen
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    Re:Royal Castle 2008/12/31 17:28:00 (permalink)
    I remember also as i was attending Palmetto sr. high ex-president Richard Nixon declared " I would like to see the nickel hamburger come back"...And Royal Castle for one day sold $.05 hamburgers all day.I bought a dozen for lunch and a dozen for dinner.Those were the good 'ole days...
     
    #27
    loveexoticwomen
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    Re:Royal Castle 2008/12/31 17:34:33 (permalink)
    To MiamiDon...Yes there was a royal castle on the corner of carribean blvd. and U.S.1 about a 1/2 blk. north of carribean on the east side heading north.I have very fond memories of that location.....
    #28
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Royal Castle 2009/01/05 13:06:42 (permalink)
    I got news on Friday that Arnold's Royal Castle has finally reopened.

    12490 NW Seventh Avenue, North Miami

    One block west of the NW 125th Street exit from I-95.

    Photos and a report soon to come.
    #29
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Royal Castle 2009/01/17 08:47:07 (permalink)
    It's a chain again!  Well, not actually; the two Royal Castles have nothing to do with each other.  Arnold's Royal Castle at 12498 NW 7th Avenue in North Miami (just off the NW 125th Street I95 exit) has finally reopened.
     

     
     
     
    I ordered two $0.99 hamburgers.  Here is the pair, with one opened:
     

     
    The rolls were fresh and steamed, and the sandwiches tasty.  I noticed that the onions were put on top of the burgers on the grill, and I believe the cook then flipped them so the onions were under the burgers as they finished.
     
     
    I have heard that there are major problems during the lunch rush hour with getting the burgers out fast enough.  I suspect the problem is that the new cooking area is smaller, and they have this tiny, 24-inch grill:
     

     
     
    Avoid it from noon to 1:00 P.M., but otherwise worth a stop for freshly-made, old-fashioned mini-burgers.
    #30
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