The Winter 2023 issue of Food & Dining Magazine is now available in all the familiar places: Louisville area eateries and food shops, newsstands and online. Click here to check it out.
Fast food restaurants typically don’t fall into Food & Dining Magazine’s coverage perimeter. However, there are exceptions, and today is one.
Upon learning that the White Castle in St. Matthews (4020 Shelbyville Rd.) will be closing after service on Christmas Eve, I was immediately reminded of a film about the demise of the White Castle once occupying the corner of Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway — just a few years ago right?
Make that 35 years ago. Ouch.
A short Google journey later, I found it: The 20-minute short film is My Porcelain Past by director Ron Schildknecht (Germantown Films), which you can read about here, and watch at YouTube (or embedded above).
Located on the corner of a major intersection in an established neighborhood, this Louisville White Castle restaurant meant a lot of things to a lot of people. For thirty two years.
So when residents learned that White Castle #12 was to close its doors forever due to a rent dispute, there was a huge public reaction. Some were angry and frustrated, others were nostalgic. Many came out for one final cheeseburger or cup of coffee. A few held a candlelight vigil, others a birthday party. There were television and radio interviews, rap songs, stories, chess games and guys with paper bags over their heads.
At WHAS 11, Arianna Sergio has the story of this week’s St. Matthews slider service cessation, noting that 16 locations remain open across metro Louisville: This White Castle location in the Louisville area is permanently closing on Christmas Day.
It’s difficult for me to accept, but My Porcelain Past depicts an entirely different planet, and it’s an absolutely fascinating glimpse. Today’s White Castle building design template and expanded menu bear little resemblance to the “porcelain palace” of legend. In like fashion, the film chronicles a slice of Louisville life that’s probably gone for good.
We’ll save it for the panel discussion, whenever we get around to that.