Thursday, July 13, 2006
Monk's & More
Alright, time for a little Carolina Circle Mall food history.
In 1988, Carolina Circle Mall opened it's new food court and carousel in the former space of the Ice Chalet. There were plenty of restaurants prior to the renovation, but no food court.
Throughout the history of the food court, many restaurants thrived. Let me try and list the restaurants I can remember.
2. Mr. Wok Chinese Restaurant
3. Carolina Deli until 1995/Subs & Spuds 1995 and on.
4. New York Pizza
5. Short Lived Taco Bell
But there was restaurant I left out.
In 1990, the legendary Monk's Cheesesteaks & Cheeseburgers opened in the Carolina Circle Mall food court. It was located in the corner of the food court on the right section of the above picture.
In my opinion, it was probably the most successful restaurant at the food court. For seven years, they served a wonderful menu full of many items. They specialized in cheeseburgers and cheesesteaks.
I rarely went there. Probably ony 4 or 5 times. Usually when I ate at Carolina Circle, it would be either at Carolina Deli/Subs & Spuds or Piccadilly Cafeteria. I remember it seemed sort of like a diner. It had a black and white tiled floor with a jukebox. I think it even had a video game or two.
They also had an ice cream shop attached to it. I went there a lot. I would always get a vanilla ice cream cone with a cherry on top.
By the second half of 1995, the mall began it's major slide into decline. In June of 1997, Monk's went out of business. This might have been a major factor in killing the food court.
Does the story end there? Nope. In 2006, Monk's reopened at the Northeast Summit Shopping Center. Same great menu. In fact, I had a cheeseburger from Monk's for lunch today. I agree. They do have great burgers. And they're pretty cheep and beats McDonald's or Burger King. Also, take a look at their menu board inside. It says "Formarly of Carolina Circle Mall 1990-1997".
All of this proves my theory. Carolina Circle Mall may be closed, but it's still open in the form of memories, websites, blogs, and reopened stores. Maybe they'll put a carousel in the Northeast Summit Shopping Center or the Wal-Mart parking lot. One can dream.
You can check out the Monk's website here.