Hall of Fame
What do a paperboy, a pinup girl tattoo and a marathon runner have in common? Nothing. Besides our Hall of Fame.
We’ve had 7,645 people try for the Hall since 2001. But only 170 have been inducted. Read the unbelievable stories that got them in.
(7613 Cravers Agree)
I am the original white castle fan. I am celebrating my 90th birthday this year along with White Castle! I was born in 1921, the year White Castle was founded.
I remember walking home from school when I was a little girl and spending my nickel, which I saved from lunch, in order to buy my favorite hamburger, White Castle Slider.
I start my New Year off every year with a White Castle just for good luck. Me and White Castle are still going strong, after all these years and for many more fond memories to come!
(565 Cravers Agree)
Steven Pliskow, M.D.
White Castle has been a huge part of my life for as long as I remember. My story begins at the age of 5 until age 10 when I accompanied my father to work every Saturday and we would have breakfast and lunch at the White Castle across the street. It was my first introduction to the Original Slider and began the love affair that continues today.
Though my dad is no longer with us I can still remember how he enjoyed those orange donuts. From age 11 until I was 16 (just old enough to ride the city bus alone), I convinced my parents to let me take the 30 minute ride each way to enjoy my Slyders at the closest White Castle to my home. Once I was able to drive, I managed to eat at each and every White Castle in the New York Metropolitan area. After I went away to college and medical school, I still took the trek 2 hours each way to enjoy my Slyders at least twice a month.
Since then, I have moved to Florida but the Crave continues. I still take the time away from my busy medical practice to make frequent trips to New York to satisfy the crave. I remember one of the trips to New York, I was almost late to my dad’s funeral because there was a line at White Castle and I had to satisfy the craving before giving the eulogy.
One time, I was traveling from West Palm Beach to Buffalo via Cincinnati and due to a delay, I missed my connecting flight. I had to rent a car and drive through the night to get to Buffalo. I made sure that my trip took me through Columbus, Ohio, the home of the Castle, where at 2 a.m. I was once again enjoying my White Castle hamburgers. I have collected, over the years, numerous vintage mugs and plates from the original restaurants. I would be ecstatic to be a member of the Cravers Hall of Fame; honoring something I have loved for all of my life.
(554 Cravers Agree)
Creators of "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle"
In the summer of 2004, two guys went where no major movie characters have gone before – to White Castle®. Now, because of this cinematic journey, five men behind the New Line Cinema release, “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle,” went straight to our Cravers Hall of Fame.
“Harold and Kumar” is a delicious comedy about two young men and one long night’s quest to feed their Crave, in the tasteful tradition of “Dude, Where’s My Car?” – which was also directed by Danny Leiner. Actors John Cho and Kal Penn dig in to the roles of Harold and Kumar, respectively.
The script by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg takes Harold and Kumar on a wild trip of mischief, misadventure and, of course, many burgers from a certain 24-hour restaurant.
“Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle” is a hilarious Slider® story of epic proportions that merits a special induction of Danny Leiner, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, John Cho and Kal Penn into the Cravers Hall of Fame, Class of 2004.
Danny Leiner, Director
Jon Hurwitz, Writer
Hayden Schlossberg, Writer
John Cho, Harold
Kal Penn, Kumar
(409 Cravers Agree)
My name is Logan Ward and I have craved White Castle hamburgers as long as I can remember. My story starts as a child of the sixties and seventies living in Louisville. Back in the day, more mothers stayed home with their children than they do these days. With that, moms would prepare dinner nearly every night for the family. My mom stayed home and on occasion when she did not fix supper, we would go out to eat. I was five years old at the time and I’m sure we had been out to eat many times before but I must not have remembered the experience.
My first memory of eating out was with my dad taking the family to White Castle. I had no idea what White Castle was about and did not know what to expect. On the way in my dad’s black 1958 Chevy, he told us that White Castle had these little square hamburgers and told us stories of how he would go there in high school and eat 15 to 20 of these burgers. My dad told us that he loved these little burgers so much and was sure that we would too. We went to the seventh street location in Louisville. The building was gleaming white and very clean looking. When we got our burgers, I thought how cool it was that they came in those little boxes. I remember that the boxes reminded us to not be a litter bug and I had to ask my dad what that meant. Upon taking the burger out of the box, I remember how hot and steamy it was. My first bite was an experience I will never forget. The onions, the mustard, the soft bun and of course the square meat were a fantastic eating delight. I was hooked on the very first bite.
I don’t remember how many Sliders I had that night, but I do remember that I fell in love with those little burgers. Funny how some of life’s greatest memories become burned in your mind forever. I had no idea at the time what life changing experience this moment would become. The Crave had begun. For the next ten years, every time we went out to eat I would always ask to go to White Castle. From my mom and dad to all of my aunts, uncles and grandparents, I always begged them to take me to White Castle when we were out. From taking Sliders to the drive-in to eating them with my grandpa in his old ’55 Ford, I have so many great memories of going to the Castle. I even rode my bike to the seventh street location on a couple of occasions. I guess it is alright to tell my parents about it now. They would have grounded me for months if they had known how far I rode my bike to White Castle. (A check on an online map provider says it is a 4.9 mile journey).
In 1975, my dad was transferred to Chicago, we lived in Naperville. My Crave slowed as the closest Castle was in somewhere south of Naperville. We never got out there much. So needless to say, I was pretty upset. The only thing that was able to ease my Crave was that we had to travel back to Louisville every month or two for my sister to get her medical check-ups as she had a condition since birth. She was doing fine, but my Crave continued. A year later in 1976 my dad was transferred yet again to Memphis. Once more, one of my main concerns was White Castle. Were there any in Memphis? Would my Crave be stopped? As it turned out, there were not any locations in Memphis. There was just some rip-off company thinking they knew how to cook a Slider. Yuck! The closest Original Slider place for me was in Nashville. For a little while, we still went back to Louisville for my sister and would stop in Nashville along the way for the sole purpose of getting some Castles. But when the doctor released her, our visits to Louisville stopped and so did my White Castle visits. For about a year, my Castle visits were sparse. My dad would bring some Sliders home when he went to Nashville, but I needed more.
In 1977, I got my ’73 Mustang and had freedom at last! Gas was cheap and so were my wages. According to my dad, I was supposed to stay in Memphis for insurance reasons while driving. I still don’t know if that is true, but now with my car, I did not always stay around Memphis. About once every four to six weeks, I would go to Nashville to get me some White Castles. I would eat 15 to 20 and then bring some home for later. Of course I had to hide them from my parents. We didn’t have a microwave, so I ate the ones I brought home cold. They were still so good and with that, my Crave lived.
I now live in Germantown, Tennessee which is a suburb of Memphis. There are still no White Castles here and the closest one is on White Bridge in Nashville. I have had many dreams over the years that White Castle came to Memphis, but then I wake up cravenly disappointed. Frozen Castles help fill the Crave gap, but nothing beats hot, steamy, fresh hot off the grill Sliders. It is 196.1 miles from my house to the Castle in Nashville but I go there about every month to six weeks. The great thing now is that my two brothers live in the Nashville area and they bring me forty to fifty Castles every time they come home to visit. A few weeks ago, my little brother needed to borrow some computer equipment from me. I told him it was going to cost him. He said he knew it would and asked me how many Castles I wanted him to bring. I also have my friends and business associates bring me sliders when they come to Memphis from Nashville. It is so ingrained with my friends that I don’t even have to ask them any more.
I have been to New York and had Castles with ketchup and St. Louis and had them with the horseradish mustard. I even stop at that old seventh street location in Louisville whenever I can get back there. I have been to over fifty locations everywhere between New York and St. Louis and I love them all, but nothing beats Castles with Dusseldorf mustard from Louisville and Nashville. For me, no trip North is complete without multiple jaunts to the Castle. Most folks don’t understand my Crave. They don’t realize there is a difference between White Castles and the so-called competitors. Some, I have been able to sway while others I have not. Poor lost souls…
For over 45 years now, many things have changed but White Castles still taste out of this world. My Crave is as intense as ever and I am always trying to find new avenues in which to feed and satisfy it. White Castle is a huge part of me and my life. In fact, Castles are me…the Crave is forever!
(285 Cravers Agree)
I am Willy Veliky and I represent the embodiment of the White Castle spirit and a lifetime of devotion to Sliders, especially double cheeseburgers. While many can point to a Castle moment or individual experience, I have moments by the sack. Sure, there were the early days when good parentage provided me with regular visits to the original Castles at five points in Union and Elmora Avenue in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Many a late night was capped off with a Castle Chug (you get the idea) and a fish with cheese chaser. But it was only after I came into my own that my cravings took flight. Maybe it’s the cross-country trip where we went 200 miles off-course just to see the Castle in St. Louis. Or when I bribed one of the employees at the Edison Castle to sell me his hat – and remember this was back in the old days when the only way to get authentic Castle gear was to work there.
Then there was the personal Valentine’s Day celebration with tablecloths, flowers and china – hey that was five years before the geniuses over there in the marketing department got paid to think of it! But what ultimately sets me apart from your average White Castle fanatic is the Tale of the Manburger. Hearing that a new White Castle was opening in Greenbrook, NJ, I laid out my plan. Yes, I was going to be there for opening day and be sure I would be the first one in line. The culmination of my plan was my homemade Castle gear that I was photographed by a local newspaper – the newspaper that gave me my now legendary moniker. Well, I Willy Manburger Veliky, am now fifty and as long as they keep building Castles – both the building and the burgers – I will be happy to resurrect my starring role and give each and any of them their opening props.
(262 Cravers Agree)
Elk River, MN
My name is Jim Kreml and I am forty-five years old and have been a loyal White Castle Craver my entire life. The name of my story is Midnight Run. It is about me and my best friend Don. As a child growing up in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, my friend Don and I would sleep out in our tent just about every weekend in the summer. About 65% of the time as midnight drew we would sneak out of our tent, get on our bikes and make the eighteen mile round trip journey to the Brooklyn Park White Castle location. Back then the burgers were a dime! Don and I would each get a sack full and ride back to our tent before anyone even knew we were gone! The world was sure a different place back then, a lot safer and a lot more innocent. I’m afraid to say we probably wouldn’t be able to make that “midnight run” today.
I am saddened to say that Don’s mom passed away on July 24th, 2009 – she was eighty-five years old. I got to spend some time with Don shortly after his mom’s passing and I took him to White Castle for lunch. We sat in the restaurant, remembering her and all the times we snuck out of our tent to make that midnight run. We laughed about how mad she would have been at us had she caught us before we got back to our tent. We made that run for about six years, from 6th grade to graduation and although our bikes turned into cars that final year, it was a time in our lives that we will never forget. Being with Don at that White Castle in that moment brought back some cherished memories of a simpler time — when two boys could get on their bikes in the middle of the night without worry and ride about eighteen miles to get Castles and cheeseburgers.
You see to us, White Castle is more than just a place to eat; it truly is a big part of our lives and even if it was just for a moment or two at lunch, being together at our favorite place helped us cope, reflect, smile and laugh. I’m sure Don would agree with me when I say “thank you for being a part of our lives, the happy and the sad.”
(237 Cravers Agree)
Steven Luch and Nips the Pig
It is a pleasure for me to pass on to you a story of total dedication straight from Detroit. I am sure that you guys have heard all types of stories of true supporters, but you must hear mine.
First, I have a White Castle tattoo on my left arm. This is no drawn-on or fake tattoo; I will wear this tattoo proudly for the rest of my life. Sometimes the tattoo even brings me a free burger or two when I eat at White Castle – sometimes that’s five days a week!
Also, recently I have started throwing get-togethers in the Detroit area where we place orders for 500 White Castle hamburgers to accommodate the partygoers. For one of the get-togethers, I had the White Castle logo printed on the sleeves of more than 300 T-shirts!
For last New Year’s, we had another 500-burger get-together. After the party, my potbellied pig – Nips the Pig – enjoyed scavenging for any half-eaten or full burgers left. Nips the Pig has also been eating White Castle for her entire life. She’s always “giving paw” or “shaking” for a White Castle clam strip.
Anyway, I could babble on and on about how many White Castles I have purchased and how much advertising I have helped with. But if you are looking for a good marketing idea, remember Nips the Potbellied Pig and Steve from Detroit with the White Castle tattoo!
I am down with the WC ‘til I’m in the ground!
(226 Cravers Agree)
Father John Stavropoulos
When I was the pastor of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbus, Ohio, on Easter Sunday night (every year) after having fasted from meat for 40 days, a group of my parishioners and I would leave the resurrection service, which ended at 2:30 a.m. We’d immediately head down the street to White Castle and we would break the 40-day meat fast.
Now, I am not talking about a few people. There were at least 35 to 40 cars in the drive-thru. So close to 200 people would crave Sliders® (normally Greeks eat lamb on that night), but we found that Sliders® were quick, easy, tasty and available. Each year for three years the good word got out that Father John was leading the caravan to White Castle.
(198 Cravers Agree)
In 1966, I met a man named Lloyd. He worked the late shift, so when we went out, the only place that was always open was White Castle. We loved White Castles almost as much as we loved each other. We dated like this for quite a while, but we broke up. I also worked at the time and made $1.65 an hour. On almost all my paydays, I would take my mom and six younger brothers and sisters out to eat, always to White Castle. It made me miss him so much.
One payday, about nine months after Lloyd and I had broken up, I was standing in line at White Castle when my little twin brothers told me that I should look behind us. When I turned around and saw Lloyd smiling at me, I knew I still loved him. I gave my family their food and I went and sat with him. We ate White Castles and talked about our future.
This year we will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. Lloyd’s family told me after we were married that he had said he just had to go back to his White Castle-eating girl. And after all these years, two daughters and a granddaughter, we still love each other and we still love White Castle. When we’re out running errands, we still get the Crave. Lloyd always looks at me and says, “Do you want to stop and get a sack of White Castles to take home?” I just look at him and smile.
(180 Cravers Agree)
Cottage Grove, MN
This story started way back in the war year 1943. Our family was transferred to St. Paul, Minnesota when our dad was in an essential industry for the American Railroad industry. With a wife, four sons and a railcar full of possessions, dad embarked on finding a new home, job and totally different city living versus North Dakota small prairie town living. Because the train brought all of us to St. Paul at five a.m. in the morning, breakfast was a White Castle nearby, which had great coffee, rolls, baked bean crocks and great little hamburgers.
The sight of four hungry kids, weary from overnight travel must have been remarkable to the staff at the Castle 25 (then the old mini-Castle) downtown, it is now gone. The fours boys were mesmerized at the two grills of thirty hamburgers steaming away behind the glass. That Castle had six or eight stools, a stand-up perimeter window counter and the usual take-out station. The price of one slider was a mere twelve cents. Just watching the operator smoothing out the bed of onions, placing the thirty meat patties on the now bubbling bed of aromatic goodness, topped with the buns made the boys’ anticipation almost unbearable. Finally, it all came out on nice heavy China plates, steaming hot. Making Minnesota’s newest citizens a banquet on a budget that is talked about even to this day.
Now, at seventy-four years of age, I cannot drive by a White Castle. The sixty-something price is no barrier at this stage of our lives, the coffee is still the best on the planet and the people who are your storefront greeters make every trip like another trip back home in 1943. Ironically, I grew up to be a Railway Express delivery truck driver in St. Paul in 1955. Yes, two of my stops were the first White Castle of my memory and the University Avenue at Lexington store. Because the hamburger buns were baked in St. Louis back then, every morning I would get my truck fully loaded with the large master cartons of fresh baked Castle buns.
The bosses would load up my truck, slap a handful of waybills in my hand and tell me “get those buns out to the White Castles…fast!” I did what I was told. On very cold mornings, I would back up closely to the delivery kitchen doors, rush the bun boxes inside then relish a most welcome hot coffee and often a handful of hot sliders or a breakfast danish. Nothing has changed. The “old timers” that recall my visits now mostly retired or gone, would remind me often of those great homey visits. To this day, I feel more like an employee or family member than a customer. I carry a small bank in my Toyota. To this day, often bailing out the shift managers at Castle 25 when change gets scarce.
During the thirty years traveling with the Harmonicats (the Original Worldly Famous trio that recorded a twenty-million hit recording “Peg O’ My Heart”) my eyes would always search for a White Castle especially when in the Eastern half of the country. What an adventure! I treated some fans to hamburgers on Long Island, NY to the west suburbs of Chicago-land. All were remarkable, somewhat different, but all very well run and enjoyed by the Harmonicats and their many fans and friends. I would often mention the Castle from the stage, evoking lots of comments during and after the shows. I really became your unofficial ambassador, and own the title to this day.
Under the strong guidance of “Super Woman” Heidi Kachel (general manager) the tradition of hot food, great service and welcoming traditions continue. When the original corner location was replaced with a new building, I took it upon myself to photograph virtually every brick that came down in demolishing the old building, which was like Fort Knox one contractor told me. Yes, I have a photo of the first customers, a senior couple, enjoying their favorite treat. The entire photo collection was put on a CD and given to the managers. Long live the White Castle legends!