Closed, but not forgotten


Over the course of time during our tenure at Elder, there have been quite a few restaurants and shops that have opened their doors to the Elder community, only to close them, and make us sad while doing so. No matter what background you come from, you’ve most likely gone through the closing of one of your favorite places, so let’s down a trip down memory lane.

Five Guys was the place to be if you had appreciation for a great burger. Originating in Florida, when the burger joint opened its doors to the citizens of the nasty ‘Nati, people were fired up to see what all the commotion was about. For the first several months, people lined all around the building to get a bite of a five guys’ burger, and the initial reaction was very positive as it seemed Five Guys’ was going to be a big instrument in the Cincinnati restaurant game.

five guys
‘The “dead zone” area that no restaurant can survive

One of the guys who was an early supporter of the joint was senior Ryan Furniss. Furniss told us that he and his grade school friends at Visitation would always want to go there as Vikings, as it seemed to be the best place to get some grub. “It was new, so I think that played a big factor in why we went there so much. We always wanted to go out and try something that wasn’t McDonalds,” Furniss said. He also complemented the restaurant’s soda machine, the Coca-Cola Freestyle, which allowed the customer to combine all the different types of soda along with flavors. Overall, there were over 150 different combinations, so this allowed Furniss and his friends to be creative.

With all the cool features and great food presented, you would have thought Five Guys’ would still be alive and kicking today, but a couple of huge factors led Five Guys to the restaurant grave. One being its location on Glenway next to Popeye’s and Wendy’s. Anyone that is a Wendy’s or Popeye’s fan understands the pain of getting in and out of the parking lot with the oncoming heavy traffic. With it taking 100 years to turn out of, the location of Five Guys’ put it at a disadvantage from the start. Another disadvantage for customers was the price. If you wanted the full Five Guys experience (burger, fries, and drink) you’d have to throw them over 10 bucks, which is way too much for a high school student who is struggling to find money to go out on the weekends. These two factors ultimately would bury Five Guys, and kept places like McDonald’s atop the burger game in Cincy.

Another restaurant that formerly found itself across the street from Five Guys was Red Lobster, and just like the burger joint, the Lobster closed its doors for good and left some fans like Jake Helpinstine disappointed. “What can I say, I’m a big supporter of their cheddar biscuits. I could eat those suckers for the rest of my life and not be upset about it at all,” Helpinstine said. When looking for another supporter of the Lobster, we ran into food entrepreneur Mr. Bengal, who was very open on his opinion on the closed seafood restaurant. “Ate there once, never went back,” Thrill said. “It’s one of those places if I had a gift card I might consider going on, but nothing other than that. Just not my kind of place.”

Red Lobster
Mr. Bengal claims to have never worked behind the grill of a red lobster , but I don’t buy it. photoshopped by Sam Middendorf

It’s clear that the Red Lobster was not as popular as Five Guys, but fans like Helpinstine still have to suffer without their cheddar bay biscuits, or do they? “Some stores actually sell the mix now, so I tell Gina to head on over to the market to pick some up whenever I’m craving one of those guys,” Helpinstine said happily. So in the end, Help ended up getting his biscuits, and it is rumored that he and Kaylee will often bake these together when they hangout on Saturday nights, and Instagram clearly confirms this as true.

Straying away from the restaurant game, a fan favorite recently closed and left people heartbroken is Sports of All Sorts. The place formerly known as Funky Dunks was everyone’s dream place as a kid (mine included) and only the cool kids had their like fourth grade birthday party there. From the basketball courts to the video game arcade, Funky Dunks was a blast and satisfied even the most stubborn youngster with its vast majority of activities.

Before senior Nick Burgasser walked the halls of Elder High School, he was busy ruling the Funky Dunks Play Arena. “I’m pretty sure I spent the majority of my days as a Blackhawk in that play arena causing havoc,” Burgasser said. “The ball pit was by far the best part of all of Funky Dunks, you never knew what you were going to find in that place.” Speaking of Arena, place was actually bananas. It might as well been called the death arena. If you were a parent and sent your kid in there, you understood that might be the last time you ever see them. The wars that went on in that place were bloody. If you came out of that place with a nail in the head or a broken arm you considered yourself lucky because you knew your buddy had just been ripped apart and is currently sitting at the bottom of the ball pit. Boys became men in that arena.

Rogers in the ball pit
Rogers has taken down his fair share of kids in the ball pit. Photoshop by Middendorf.

Now for the reason it closed, no one is sure. Maybe it was a deep FBI investigation on the ball pit, or maybe, like mostly everything else in Delhi, It just fell apart. Regardless, Funky Dunks will be dearly missed.

One of the most memorable places for Westsiders of all shapes and sizes that has gone under reconstruction is “The Jamaican Station”. This drive thru / store had all sorts of fun built in its shelves, and became a fan favorite of some students here at Elder. If you were feeling down in the dumps on a weekend night, all you needed was a trip to the station to get your happiness back. The only thing that turned Elder kids away in the end was the drive. Going out on I-75 was a hassle for most, and with the highway an absolute mess right now, it’s over an hour trip to get your supplies at the station.

Some find the ride out to be the best part of the experience, however. Filling up a car with buddies and riding down the interstate is always an adventure. Another positive about the station was the warm hospitality the owners showed to all customers. You couldn’t help but smiled as you pulled up, as if you were in a family setting set in your own living room. My personal favorite part of going to the station was that no one truly knew the name of the owner, but we all knew he had a special place in our hearts. I only referred to the man in a couple different ways, one being “legend”, but sometimes the standard “boss”. Whatever you called the mysterious owner, he always smiled and gave you that infamous pat on the back that would ensure you arrived home safely. God love that man. If my path ever crosses that man again, I won’t hesitate to ask him to be my first born’s Godfather. The Jamaican Station, come for the discount deals on refreshments, stay for the warm hospitality.

The infamous “Jamaican Station”