Tours
Curious contractor peeks behind old mall door and finds 1980s Burger King “frozen in time”
I think this is about as close to traveling back in time as it gets.
Jaclyn Abergas
07.08.22

Want to travel back in time?

Then head on over to Concord Mall in Wilmington, Delaware.

When you step up into the Concord Mall, you’ll see a lot of modern designs and stores. But behind a green mall banner with a locked door lies a different view.

HVAC technician Jonathan Pruitt was renovating the mall when he saw this locked door.

“I was walking through the mall [and] the door was opened,” Jonathan Pruitt shared. “The owners told me about it, but they would never let anybody in there.”

YouTube - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube - Inside Edition

A step into a different era

When he stepped inside, Jonathan found himself going back in time to a retro Burger King fast-food restaurant.

It was still complete with the wooden booths, the psychedelic wall design, and the old soda machines.

Though the current owner has been operating Concord Mall since 2020, it’s been open since 1965.

This particular Burger King opened in 1987, according to the mall’s general manager, Tom Dahlke.

YouTube - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube - Inside Edition

“I would describe the décor as typical late 80s style. It’s a great call back to a time in history,” Tom Dahlke told Newsweek.

Pruitt posted the photo on his Facebook profile in because he thought it was a cool discovery. Who knew it would go viral and catch the attention of news shows?

It also caught the attention of the New Castle County Government.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer paid a visit to the retro Burger King store and gave their Facebook followers a live tour of the place.

People were astounded at the discovery.

There were many nostalgic comments, saying they probably ate there when it was still operational.

This Burger King store closed in 2009 when the Concord Mall stopped operations at that time.

YouTube - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube - Inside Edition

Neither lost nor forgotten

Contrary to what other people thought, though, this space wasn’t forgotten or lost.

“My company, Namdar Realty, purchased the Concord Mall in January of 2020,” Dahlke explained. “Due to the pandemic, we were closed for several months of 2020 and it really wasn’t until last year that we really started leasing in earnest. Our hope is that we will be able to lease the BK space soon.”

YouTube - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube - Inside Edition

And some of the employees working at the mall also confirmed that some of them are using the space.

“It is actually still being used by a morning cleaning crew. They run a hose through the vacancy and water plants throughout the mall. I currently do security here,” D, who said he worked security at the mall, shared.

And there were also former employees of the stores at the mall who said they used the Burger King as a storage room sometimes.

But Tom Dahlke mentioned that they are looking to lease the space for anyone who’s interested. And he’s gotten inquiries from potential tenants.

YouTube - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube - Inside Edition

Another email he’s gotten a lot of lately is requests for tours of the retro Burger King restaurant.

He’s not really surprised since seeing that store brought out childhood memories for the more mature residents of Wilmington.

“It brings back some memories of their childhood and their teenage years. This was a super popular place to hang out for the teenagers here in Wilmington,” Dahlke said.

YouTube - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube - Inside Edition

Take a Burger King tour of the 80s in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
Advertisement
Advertisement