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(NEXSTAR) – A new territory of the Burger Kingdom was recently unearthed at a mall in Delaware.
Delaware resident Jonathan Pruitt first shared a photo of the discovery — a seemingly intact albeit hidden-from-view Burger King restaurant, sealed off from the rest of Wilmington’s Concord Mall — on Facebook in April.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Pruitt’s picture of the so-called “vintage” Burger King has since been widely shared across Twitter and Reddit by folks hungry for a bite of nostalgia.
“It’s unbelievable how a random photo I posted 2 months ago on a local Facebook page goes viral all over the internet,” Pruitt remarked on his Facebook page.
Pruitt, an HVAC technician, explained to Nexstar that he was actually working in the mall the day he took the photo.
“I was walking through the mall, the door was opened,” Pruitt said of the unmarked entrance to the former restaurant. “The owners told me about it, but they would never let anybody in there.”
The restaurant, which is hidden behind a wall at the Concord Mall, had actually been operational until 2009, the mall’s general manager tells Nexstar. But the dining room’s aesthetic gives ‘80s and ‘90s vibes, with its parquet flooring, angular wall adornments and pastel-topped tables and chairs.
Even a representative for Burger King called it “gloriously retro.”
“Though we aren’t able to confirm details regarding this location, we have verified that the gloriously retro design and décor lines up closely with Burger King restaurants operating in the 1980s and 1990s and this is in fact a former Burger King restaurant,” a representative for the chain wrote in a statement shared with Nexstar.
Tom Dahlke, the current general manager of the Concord Mall, told Nexstar that his company was aware of the space prior to purchasing the mall in 2020. But it’s been sealed off — somewhat — for over a decade.
“We have a wall built up, as most common malls do, and there’s a door to it and everything else. It’s not like it’s buried,” Dahlke said.
The space, however, is clearly off-limits to mall guests. Video shared by the local government shows the outer wall currently displays a promotional mural for the mall. Beside it is an unmarked door.
“We’re hoping to lease it,” Dahlke told Nexstar.
In the meantime, social-media users are having a whopper of a time sharing their thoughts on the discovery. One even claims she used to work in the mall in 2019, at which time the Burger King was used as a storage space for other, functioning businesses.
“This place is f—ing terrifying,” the Twitter user, who goes by @loserskwaddd, remarked in a 2019 video she recorded while inside the space.
Pruitt, however, told Nexstar he thought the space was pretty “cool,” but admitted he didn’t step any further into the dining area.
“I was actually worried [the mall owners] wouldn’t like it, you know?” he said.
After the picture went viral, Pruitt got a phone call from the general manager, who “couldn’t thank me enough” for posting the image.
“Obviously, the reaction to all of this going viral is a great opportunity for Concord Mall to get recognition,” general manager Dahlke told Nexstar.