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The Royal Castle Hamburger Chain Meetup

August 06, 2009 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Food & Restaurant News  | 113 Comments


Above: The Royal Castle Tasting Crew

Before there was Burger King, before there was McDonalds, before there was anything known as a Kobe burger, there was Royal Castle, Miami’s original fast food joint, renowned for its tasty mini burgers.

Launched in 1938 by a man named William Singer at Northeast Second Avenue and 79th St., Royal Castle became one of the most successful fast food restaurants in the United States.

By 1960, there were 175 Royal Castles throughout Florida, Georgia and Louisiana, with the bulk of them in Miami.

It was our version of White Castle, the fast food chain launched in Columbus, Ohio in 1921 whose sliders have long been a staple in northern states, immortalized in stoner comedies and Beastie Boys songs.

In fact, Singer, who was also from Columbus, was inspired by the success of White Castle when he launched Royal Castle during the Great Depression.


Above: Jersey girl Mari Romero ventured on the field trip because she missed the White Castle burgers from back home.

After all, no matter how bad the economy gets, people still need to eat. And what better way to stay within your budget than feasting on cheap mini burgers?

However, by 1975, six years after Singer sold the business, there were only 85 Royal Castles left and they were losing business fast, finding themselves unable to compete with McDonalds and Burger King, the latter which was also founded in Miami in 1954.

By 1976, the company had gone out of business and most of the remaining Royal Castles ended up as Cuban restaurants, Chinese restaurants or fish and chip shops.


Above: They use a little more onions at Arnold’s Royal Castle.

But there were two Royal Castles that survived the transition. Two Royal Castles that never ceased serving the delicious mini burgers. Two Royal Castles that still survive today.

On Tuesday, we decided to find out which Royal Castle serves the better burger.


Above: Service with a smile at Brimberry’s Royal Castle.

Hop on the Short Bus

It started off with a late night status update on Facebook. I had been driving down from Broward on I-95 and was diverted off the expressway because of road construction.

I drove down to 27th Ave. – which is one of the few Miami streets that continues southward without interruption – and found myself coming across one of the last two Royal Castles.

It was past midnight and I was starving. And I was grouchy at having been forced off the expressway. I pulled into the parking lot and made my way inside.
I ended up eating six mini burgers and bragging about it on Facebook after getting home.

That turned into a conversation with several friends and plans to compare the two Royal Castles.

Three weeks later, we ended up piling into Bulldog’s short bus with Burger Beast tagging along in his own car.  There were about 15 of us, including a pair of Texans, a pair of Jersey girls and a bevy of Miami natives. A field trip to burger gluttony.

Different ownership

The first Royal Castle we hit was the one that started this trip. The one on NW 79th St. and 27th Ave. This one is owned by a man named James Brimberry, who has worked at that location since 1964.


Above: The Royal Castle at 2700 NW 79th St owned by James Brimberry

In fact, Brimberry was the very first black man to be hired at Royal Castle. Prior to that, Royal Castle would not allow black people inside the restaurant, forcing them to buy their burgers through a side window. Miami, indeed, was part of the ugly segregated south.

A few months after Brimberry was hired, a white customer refused his service. It was that point that Brimberry decided to one day own Royal Castle. His dream came true in 1976 after the company went out of business.

The second Royal Castle we hit was the one on NW 125th St. and 7th Ave. This one is owned by Wayne Arnold, a white man who worked at Royal Castle from 1961 until 1976 when he was fired after the company went out of business. He purchased this location in 1980 and opened it in 1982.


Above: The Royal Castle at 12490 NW 7th Ave owned by Wayne Arnold

Business was good until a fire forced him to close down in 2005. But with help from a government grant, he was able to re-open in January 2009. More than 900 customers lined up on opening day.

The Verdict

Both Royal Castles cook the burgers in the traditional manner on top of a bed of onions on the grill.  And they both serve them with onions, ketchup and a pickle, just as they did back in the 1930s. You can also ask for cheese.

But only Brimberry’s Royal Castle grills the buns, which is what I like. Brimberry’s also cooks the burgers more thoroughly, giving it a more well-done taste, which is also what I like.

However, other people in my group preferred Arnold’s Royal Castle because they tend to use more onions and they also like the fact that the burgers are not so well-done.

So it’s really a matter of personal taste.

Either way, you will end up with a taste of Miami’s history.


Above: Jersey girl Rachel Gonzalez digs in at Brimberry’s Royal Castle.


Above: Miami native Adriana De Welde indulges in a double beef, double cheese burger as Texan James Echols gets it on camera.


Above: Working the grill at Brimberry’s Royal Castle.


Above: The welcome mat at Arnold’s Royal Castle.


Above: Keeping busy at Brimberry’s Royal Castle.


Above: Jersey girls


Above: Carlos Miller with the short bus in the background.

Related Categories: Dining Miami: Food & Restaurant News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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113 Comments on

"The Royal Castle Hamburger Chain Meetup"

Gladys Romero says:

Hi, I know some of these people by the Royal Castle, but part of the history of one of the girls is: In 1968, when she was a baby, her first meal in the United States, was Royal Castle hamberguers in New Jersey..Her brother and family enjoyed her..

Posted on 08/06/2009 at 10:29 AM

Maria de los Angeles says:

What a fabulous local article, Carlos! I definitely want to try these now.  It’s great to know there are long standing establishments in Miami, even if history has been a little rocky.

What’s up with that Short Bus?

Posted on 08/06/2009 at 2:32 PM

Carlos Miller says:

Hi Maria,

The short bus is owned and operated by Bulldog, aka Jim, aka Nikon Miami.

It’s his way of serving as designated driver.

Posted on 08/07/2009 at 11:51 AM

native Miamian says:

Great story.  I grew up on Royal Castle myself.  Keep servin’ em up

Posted on 08/07/2009 at 7:37 PM

KimC says:

I loved the article about this old favorite. I loved those hamburgers!!!

Posted on 08/11/2009 at 11:46 AM

Roger Ferrell says:

Great article, I worked for Royal Castle in 1968, Jim Brimberry was my supervisor, best customers and great food

Posted on 08/18/2009 at 11:08 AM

Barry says:

Used to eat ‘em by the sack in Cleveland, Ohio in the 60’s with the Birch Beer! Mmmmmmmmmmm! May have to come to Miami just for the Royal Castle burgers.

Posted on 08/22/2009 at 5:21 PM

Jeff Eats says: beat you to Royal Castle on 1/26/09.
That said, still enjoyed your story.

Posted on 09/01/2009 at 9:26 PM

Pete Minter says:

Hi, I was born and raised in Hollywood, FL but now live in North Carolina.  I MISS Royal Castle hamburger and Birch Beer sooo BAD ! !  If anyone knows how I can order and buy some frozen burgers or birch beer I would greatly appreciate it!  Thanks, Pete… .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted on 09/20/2009 at 7:36 PM

Edward Bienkowski says:

Just a little trivia about the royal castle on NW 125th street in North Miami, there is a scene in the James Bond Goldfinger movie that is towards the end of the film. It was supposed to be set in Fort Knox Kentucky in the movie. The footage was shot in North Miami and starts out at the Kentucky fried chicken at NW 119th street and 7th avenue. Then the scene moves up NW 7th avenue. You can clearly see this royal castle location in that James Bond movie.

Posted on 10/06/2009 at 1:28 PM

Don Gately says:

I enjoyed your website.  I am now writing a series of nostalgia pieces for the internet and would like to do one on Royal Castle.  I lived in Miami from 1940 to 1960 and used to go to Royal Castle often before delivering The Miami Herald.  I would love to get a picture of two of some of the original locations.  Do you have any idea how I might get someone to email me a picture or two.  Thanks,  Don Gately,  Valencia, CA 661 255 8873, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted on 03/01/2010 at 6:25 PM

Thomas J. Simonski says:

I would like to know the locations of the Rolal Castles that were in the city of Cleveland Ohio back in the 50s and 60s thank You

Posted on 03/21/2010 at 1:32 AM

Barry Constantino says:

One on E. 185th St., one on St.Clair (5 points Collinwood area) and one downtown 17th & Chester Ave. Those are the ones I used to frequent. There may have been some on the West side, but I rarely went to that side of town in the olden days.

Posted on 03/22/2010 at 10:26 AM

James N. Brimberry says:

Hello, my nameis James N.Brimberry, thanks for coming to my resturant, i do wish i had been there to greet you, i am there during the day, i promise you that if you visit again it will be worth it. let me know next time. 305-696-824, leave a message for me.

Posted on 04/10/2010 at 8:23 PM

James Brimberry says:

Hi, James Brimberry again, i left off a number, its 305-696-8241

Posted on 04/10/2010 at 8:36 PM

Q Turner says:

I grew up on White Castle in St. Louis. I just found out about Royal Castle and a friend from Miami is bringing some back now…CANT WAIT! Even rewarmed in the microwave beats Krystal hands down

Posted on 04/11/2010 at 12:03 PM

Sherry Boyd says:

Please please somebody tell me how to get a box of these burgers sent to me here in Pensacola, Florida.  I will pay for overnight, and a good tip if I could just relive my childhood and taste those burgers again.  White Castle & Krystals don’t hold a candle to Royal Castle.  We were really poor growing up but my Dad always managed to put aside enough change to buy us 2 burgers and a birch beer on Saturday.  Wow wow would I would give to taste them again.  Thanks to anyone reading this.  I’m a baby boomer and would rather have a burger then the best steak money can buy.  smile  Sherry PS if anyone reads this form West Palm beach it was Grand Father that owned Kinseys bar-b-que, the best ever made.  Sherrry

Posted on 05/11/2010 at 7:16 AM

Name says:

I was born into a Krystal burger loving family in Alabama but spent my childhood with Royal Castle in Miami Springs. One of my fondest memories was riding my bike to the local Royal Castle and spending my entire allowance on little burgers and the juke box. I was heartbroken to learn so many were gone but so thankful that Mr. Brimberry and Mr. Arnold are keeping a wonderful Miami tradition alive and thriving for future generations. Thank you both so much!

Posted on 05/13/2010 at 9:59 AM

Paul says:

Thanks for the great story. As a college student in Opa Locka in the 60’s I can certainly remember spending many a late night after drinking at the ‘RC Steakhouse’ as we called it. It was in Carrol City just off the Palmetto Expressway. I can also remember many a breakfast special of 2 eggs, any style, bacon, toast and choice of potatoes or grits. The little guy working the grill would look over his left shoulder and ask. loudly: “you want gry-its?”
One of the great memories of Miami.

Posted on 05/13/2010 at 4:50 PM

Harold Lawton says:

Mr.Brimberry,I remember serving more than 20 classmates your Royal Castle burgers as a main course at one of our reunion meetings.

Posted on 05/14/2010 at 12:42 AM

James N. Brimberry says:

Thank you Mr. Lawton for your support, hope to see you soon.

Posted on 05/15/2010 at 7:41 AM

Lenny says:

I worked managing the Royal Castle across from the Dog track in Hallandale Florida. Pretty sure it was 1969 or 70. I was written up in the Royal Castle monthly magazine as teh youngest manage ever. I was 19 years old. Ahh good memories. Couple food fights, etc.

Posted on 05/23/2010 at 3:45 PM

George Carol says:



Posted on 05/31/2010 at 3:12 AM

James Brimberry says:

Thank you for your comment, it really makes me feel good. i have been seriously thinking about selling or closing the restaurant. My wife has retired from the business and it is not easy. your kind words keeps me going.

Posted on 06/04/2010 at 4:09 PM

Bob Brewer says:

As a U Miami student in the late 1950’s, I enjoyed many a Royal Castle burger….

Posted on 06/22/2010 at 4:51 PM

Jim Sharp says:

Neat article. I grew up in Venice on the west coast and I remember there being two Royal Castle locations in Sarasota: one on the northeast corner of US41 and Bahia Vista St. and the other at the southwest corner of US41 and Stickney Point Rd. (SR72). The Bahia Vista location became a bank as I recall. The Stickney Point store became Oaks Bar-B-Q which stayed in that building for a number of years but relocated some years back to a bigger building farther north on 41. I haven’t lived in Sarasota for over fifteen years so I cannot say if either building still stands.

Am I correct about Royal Castle’s TV ads? It was known as, “The hamburger place where people who love to eat, love to eat.” Unfortunately, I never once ate at one.

Whatever happened to Shakey’s Pizza???

Posted on 06/25/2010 at 12:45 PM

Stephanie Poe says:

Mr. Brimberry - My father was with Royal Castle for 13 years, and in fact you were his boss for several years. I remember when you came to our house in west Hollywood to visit him following his thyroid surgery; I was a teenager then, and I remember your kindness. Ever since reading the Miami Herald profile of you I have wanted to speak with you. My mother still lives in Hollywood and I would love to come by and visit the next time I’m there. My father, Savage H. Poe, passed away in 1983 and it would mean so much to me to connect with you. All the best, Stephanie Poe McCook

Posted on 07/02/2010 at 11:31 AM

James Brimberry says:

I would love to meet with you. Your father
was a good friend. Please let me know
when you come home.
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted on 07/03/2010 at 10:22 AM

Bill Briskin says:

Mr. Brimberry, I grew up in Miami Beach and used to go to the Royal Castle on Alton Road all the time.  Those were the best little hamburgers ever and I loved the Birch Beer.  I always wondered what happened to the Royal Castles.  They were the best.  I now live in Boynton Beach and will make it a point to visit your location on 79th St. as soon as possible. Your Royal Castle is a historical Miami landmark and I hope you never close.  God Bless You.

Posted on 07/08/2010 at 9:49 AM

George McReynolds says:

Hello! I grew up pn Hollywood Fl. and hungout at the RC on 441 & hollywood blvd. I even worked at one on 163rd st after school. I used to mix the birch beer and the milkshake it made a good drink. THANKS FOR THE MENORIES.

Posted on 07/29/2010 at 9:44 AM

John J. Carey says:

I grew up in West Hollywood Fla. and was graduated from McArthur High School in 1961. There was a Royal Castle at the corner of Hollywood, Blvd and State road 441 or hwy 7 as we locals knew it. I would eat breakfast there every morning after swim team practice. They also served typical southern breakfast sausage patty eggs and grits. I spent three years in Casablanca Africa from 1953-1956. When we got off of the USS Willam S. Lykes in Tampa, Fla., I asked my parents to take me straight to ROYAL CASTLE. I ate 12 burgers and two Birch Beers. A truck driver bought me the second birch beer after seeing me eat all of those burgers. I didnt have enough money for another birch beer. I grew up on these great burgers & I am glad to see that they are still around I will make it a point to visit one of the remaing ROYAL CASTLES when I come to MIAMI to visit my family. Many fond memories here.

Posted on 07/30/2010 at 9:38 AM

brown says:

I go there every day.  There is a regular crowd and everyone knows everyone. The young man in the picture is oliver and the lady with the smile is Adrianna

Posted on 08/10/2010 at 11:46 PM

James Brimberryd says:

Thanks for all the comments, I hope I am at the Resturant
when u visit.

Posted on 08/11/2010 at 7:19 PM

B McCallister says:

During the mid 50’s and based at MCAS Miami (Marine Corps Air Station) but due to limited facilities we were FORCED to live off base.  Most of us lived in Miami Springs at the Green Mansions. Across Curtis Parkway and near 36th street was a watering hole by the name of Brysons Bar.  We would gather every night and about 9pm someone would shout “I’m going to the Royal Castle”.  The departing sole would take orders for everyone and the order could easily hit 100 burgers. I don’t remember the cost but I think it was .12cents each.
By the time the dust settled all burgers were acounted for and soon evaporated with ease.
In all my years (I’m kissing 80) no burger ever had the taste of those Royal Castle burgers made on 36th Street near the entrance to the Miami International Airport.

Posted on 10/04/2010 at 2:31 PM

JerryWWW says:

Early 60s in the Cleveland, OH area.  Middleburg Heights across the street from the movie theater on Pearl Rd.  Usually got the “six pack” and a root beer. People still tell me it was White Castle, but they were not there.  Those were the days.

Posted on 10/18/2010 at 2:39 PM

Barry says:

I wondered where Royal Castle was on the West side of Cleveland. I mainly used to go to the one on E. 185th St. near my high school (St. Joe’s), and on 5 Points across from Collinwood High School. And you’re right. We didn’t have any White Castles in the Cleveland area that I recall.

Posted on 10/18/2010 at 5:04 PM

broker says:

on the west side of cleveland they were at broadview and pearl rds. ridge rd and dennison ave. building is still there and there was west 25 st. and detroit ave. building still there.

Posted on 01/21/2011 at 8:54 PM

Mike Jr. says:

There was one at Memphis and Fulton - it was the new Royal Castle building - just like the one at Dennison and Ridge Roads. Both are still standing and the one on Memphis is now a doughnut shop. One of the old, original buildings still stands on Pearl Road - just south of Brookpark Road in Parma (next to Axlerod car dearlership) It is now a Pizza Hut (pick-up and delivery only) The outside of the building is still the same. There also used to be another original building on Pearl Road in Middleburg Hts. It used to be between the bank and Firestone. The building was torn down to make a Taco Bell, and I do not know what is there now. The last original building I used to go to was on Pearl Road in Cleveland just north of Broadview road. For a while - it used to be a Chineese carry-out. I believe it’s still there, but I would have to drive by to see whgt’s there now.  Any questions - drop me a line at “” and I’ll do my best to answer any other questions and if you’s like pics of the buildings as they stand now - I’ll do my best to fill your requests. I too really miss the Birch Beers and would love to find out if they are still available anywhere and if I could get some here in Cleveland, Ohio.

Posted on 01/22/2011 at 4:15 PM

Ann Latessa says:

why can’t royal castle start a franchise or at least freeze and sell them to grocery stores like white castle does

Posted on 01/25/2011 at 1:48 PM

Barry says:

I’m with you Latessa…I say freeze ‘em and share the wealth!

Posted on 01/25/2011 at 5:57 PM

Ann Latessa says:

the royal castle building on memphis and fulton was a donut connection and they just closed down.  there is also a royal castle building on the corner of detroit and w 25, it has been empty for a long time.  the building on broadview and pearl (w 25) is still there.  the one on denison and ridge is still empty.  a bar/grill on w 65 & detroit use to sell royal castle hamburgers and they weren’t bad.  they still advertise them as royal castle hamburgers but i don’t think they taste anything like royal castle hamburgers.

Posted on 01/26/2011 at 7:02 AM

David North says:

I sure do miss Royal Castle at Euclid Ave in East Cleveland, Ohio area

Posted on 03/09/2011 at 11:08 AM

Barry says:

There is still an original building on East 185th St…empty right now.

Posted on 03/12/2011 at 5:38 PM

Eileen Spurr Derrick says:

I grew up in West Hollywood and have incredible memories of Royal Castle on 441 and Hollywood Blvd. In fact my daddy was a Baptist minister with a church catty-corner of RC.
I am sending this site to my friends that shared many of the same memories with me. Wish that one was still there… but intend to come and see you next time I’m in Miami.

Posted on 04/10/2011 at 12:07 PM

Barrry says:

80 degrees right now…I need a Birch Beer.

Posted on 04/10/2011 at 1:31 PM

Jorge Villalba, MD says:

Mr. Arnold & Brimberry : Want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping a Miami tradition going. Don’t give up ! You may want to look for financing to re-expand this once great chain. The food was definitely superior to White Kastle and Krystal’s. I lived 2 blocks from a Royal Castle when I was a kid on Coral way one block from Brickell Avenue would eat 4 cheeseburgers, 1 fry and one chocolate shake three times a week for a cost of $ 1.25 and the food was great !

Posted on 07/17/2011 at 3:41 PM

rico c. says:

we need a royal castle back in cleveland ohio.

Posted on 08/06/2011 at 8:23 AM

Ann Latessa says:

Someone that goes into that restaurant needs to talk to the owner and suggest that they either franchise the product to the public or at least think about freeze the burgers and selling them to stores.

Posted on 08/07/2011 at 12:23 PM

Eileen Derrick says:

No Way, Jose! Then Royal Castle Hamburgers will go the way of McDonalds….BLCH!!

Posted on 08/07/2011 at 12:34 PM

Ann Latessa says:

why can’t they sell them frozen to grocery stores like white castle does?  Royal Castle taste way better than white castle.  I am sure they could use the extra money generated from sales.  and there wouldn’t be that much of an overhead.

Posted on 08/07/2011 at 12:40 PM

Eileen Spurr Derrick says:

Just give me back Royal Castle EVERYWHERE ...oops, I live in Mexico..What a way to boost their economy!!

Posted on 08/07/2011 at 12:43 PM

James Brimberry says:

Thank you so much for your comments
we will love to franchise.
We hate to close because
there is so much history.

Posted on 08/07/2011 at 2:16 PM

Eileen says says:

Fond Memories…1960-61(?) returning from Jackie Wilson concert at Cotton Club and ending the night at dawn with grits and eggs at Royal Castle somewhere around 163 St. North Miami…OMG cna tell you of many memories that include RC!! Hang in there, James!

Posted on 08/07/2011 at 4:21 PM

Stephanie says:

I created a Royal Castle group on Facebook - feel free to join!

Posted on 08/07/2011 at 4:39 PM

Jon Stark says:

Royal Castle in Miami Beach on 71st and Collins! I spent much of 1972-1975 “hanging out” there with lots of others. It was our “Home Base” a meetup spot, our internet, our iPhone. We always could got there to find a friend or trouble, it was all a warm stew of different folks that felt familiar in the turbulence of the times. The food was usually a Coke or water, we just wanted to BE there, not EAT there! The woman I remember behind the grill was Vernice, a “Psuedo” Mom to many of us, it was a unique time…

Posted on 09/18/2011 at 9:06 AM

Ken says:

It’s great to read these posts. I grew up in the Cleveland area and never knew Royal Castle was anywhere else. They were all over the place.  As a kid, I called them Humdingers.  I can recall my dad going out on a Friday or Saturday night and bringing back a box or two of those little burgers, a couple boxes of those great homefries and some birch beer.  It was a real treat and remains a fond memory. I recall the store colors may have changed but orange and brown seems to stick out in my mind along with the logo and sign - anyway it was great to read these posts and I’m glad a piece of that history lives on. Best of luck and good fortune to Mr. B and A for carrying this on.

Posted on 01/11/2012 at 6:34 PM

Louis Chaconas says:

Hi James, I run a former Royal Castle location in Clearater Florida, and am fasinated with my building’s history. We have been operating as Angie’s Restaurant since about 1976 or so. I am happy to give you a shout out, and look forward to some day stopping by to say hello.  Louis Chaconas 725 Cleveland st Clearwater Fl.

Posted on 01/11/2012 at 11:15 PM

Bill Wayne says:

Was down to both shops. Arnold was still closed in 2009? Chain on front door. Really was looking forward to “stealing a RC short/tan w/crown coffee mug” and getting some delicious BIRCH BEER. Stropped at the other place and got watered down pepsi. Will NOT go back there… Arnolds is the last hope? Or I would just buy it from the internet and save a lot of gas. Anyone know where I can buy some of that BIRCH BEER??? Bill Cleve, Oh 01/24/12

Posted on 01/24/2012 at 7:02 PM

James Brimberry says:

Join James and Josie Brimberry on February 25, 2012 as they celebrate 35 years of ownership of the Original Royal Castle Burgers. There will be Royal Castle Tee-shirt give-aways. roll back prices on the original Burgers, cash drawing, give aways. Buy 1 six pack get 2 free burgers.  buy 4 burgers get a free fry, buy 3 burgers get a small soda. We are located at 2700 NW 79th street. Call 305-696-8241

Posted on 02/19/2012 at 11:29 PM

KAREN says:


Posted on 05/28/2012 at 9:19 AM

Gail Duthie says:

love the article I grew up in miami and on royal castle burgers! there was
also a white castle with these great little treats too! The pickles must be on the bottom!

Posted on 08/15/2012 at 6:58 PM

Gerald says:

Ok, I went to McArthur Hgh School located on Hollywood, Boulevard in Hollywood Florida. We are debating about what the Burger joints name was that we all used to eat at that was on Hollywood Boulevard and 64th Avenue in 1967. Any help guys, I say it was RC, some say a Castle Burger? Any help??

Posted on 10/11/2012 at 11:01 PM

Todd Bauer says:

I lived at 4444 North Michigan Ave in the early 1960’s. Went to North Beach Elem and played at Polo Park. My fondest memory was hearing a familiar jingle and heading out with mom, dad and the rest of the Bauer clan and heading to Royal Castle. The jingle was from a commercial and it sits in my head today craving those little bugers nice and greasy. “LET’S GO TO ROYAL CASTLE!” ACROSS FROM radio station WQAM! I am 54 now and I wish that I knew someone to talk to about those days in Miami Beach. Any one remember Kims on Lincoln Road owned by the Wongs? Or the Ollie Burger, Wolfies, Rascal House or Pumpernicks. Where the hell did all those great eateries go???

Posted on 12/13/2012 at 9:27 AM

Steve says:

I grew up in Plantation and there was a Royal Castle on 441 just north of Broward Blvd.  It was always a treat when Mom & Dad brought us here for lunch.  Their burgers were the best and Birch Beer was the perfect compliment to those.  I moved away from S. Florida nearly 20 years ago but am in town this week…guess where I’m headed tomorrow for a nostalgic lunch?

Posted on 02/12/2013 at 8:29 PM

Sharon says:

Hi, just wondered if your Royal Castle is still being open? My Husband and i would love to visit your restaurant. Thanks!!

Posted on 02/25/2013 at 2:48 AM

Gus says:

Hi, Sharon. Yes, Royal Casle is still open. The restaurant is located at 2700 NW 79th Street. You’ll have to call them for the hours of operation. Their phone number is: (305) 696-8241. Bon appetit!

Posted on 02/25/2013 at 7:24 AM

Mary Swatek says:

My husband, Scotty, grew up in Maple Heights ( Cleveland suburb) and he remembers the Royal castle there. I grew up knowing of White Castle and when he would mention the tiny burgers I would argue with him! Would love them to come back to Ohio.

Posted on 02/26/2013 at 12:22 PM

Ken Augustin says:

In the late sixty’s (shop 115) this was one of the the higher volume castles in the Miami area. I was the manager of this unit in 68-69.  Worked for them from 1963 to 1972. When Bill Singer owned the system it was like a family. The small store were called D type stores, this one is an L type, and the later model with the center point roof was a K type.

My mother and father were also Castle managers also, shop 20 on South Dixie and shop 23, both in Coral Gables.

My wife was also a castle manages of shop 130 in Hialeah.

Frank Trotter and Joe Yesbeck wre two of the district managers.

Posted on 03/30/2013 at 3:08 PM

Gail Duthie says:

Hey Todd, I went to Miami Carol City High and surfed with all the duds and chicks from No. Miami Bch.  We all use to hang out at the White Castle on 163 St. by the shopping center. My mom actually worked at Wolfies at night after teaching elementary school in Carol City back in the 60’s and 70’s. Those were some great times and great places to eat and hang out!!! What ever happen to Lum’s??? They were good too!!

Posted on 03/30/2013 at 3:59 PM

Duane Renfrow says:

I moved from Colorado to Miami in 1967.Got a job at a Royal Castle on 67th & Tamiami Trail the second day I was there..They moved me to 37th & Flagler across from Flagler Dog Track full was one of their largest stores..Sometimes they would send be to shop # 8 at Tamiami Trail & 37th st. Where I almost got robbed once..a Dark person walked into the store holdong a sawed off shotgun behind his back just as the cops came thru the back door for Donuts & Coffee..the Dark person backed out..& I went to the back door & told the Police..the Police followed the robbers several blocks up Tamiami Trail & got them red handed robbing a 7-11 store..I really liked working at Royal Castle..I still have a Royal Castle Coffee Cup..& my Health Card..

Posted on 04/03/2013 at 3:08 PM

Sidney brooks says:

Does anyone remember “The Wheel” drive in?

Posted on 04/22/2013 at 10:00 AM

Harriet Gutter says:

Loved, loved, loved them all my life in Cleveland. Graduated from Cleveland Heights High School, and we had one right across the street, corner of Cedar/Lee Roads. Yummy memories!

Posted on 05/09/2013 at 6:15 AM

Train says:

I remember Royal Castle from
Cleveland Ohio.
They were the tastiest little burgers
you could buy.
I used to buy the dozen pak and mostly
several at a time to take back to the
office for all to enjoy.
We dearly loved those $.25 burgers.
Back in the sixties.

Posted on 06/18/2013 at 10:09 AM

Big guy says:

Surprised that nobody mentioned the Royal Castle that was right on Public Square in downtown Cleveland facing on West Roadway, just north of Superior Ave. across from the NW quadrant of the square. There was a Marshall Drug on the corner, and the Royal Castle was just a few doors up from there. My father was the traffic cop on that corner from 1958 to 1975, and he frequently would go in there to warm up on cold winter days when he did not have to be directing traffic during rush hour.

Posted on 08/14/2013 at 11:35 AM

Lawrence Gladsden says:

We used to eat sometimes at the royal castle on US1 and sw27 ave, which was only a 5 minute bicycle ride. I think I recall the burgers costing a quarter, which seemed expensive to me, as I was only making about $3-4 a week on my Miami News paper route (I had a pretty small route, about 30-40 papers. My brother made a lot more, and the kid who delivered the Herald had a huge route, he must have made a mint). The last meal I had with my grandfather was at a Royal Castle, probably around 1967 or 68, before going out fishing together on a party (head) boat. My grandfather got very seasick on that trip, which I don’t think he ever had before. I don’t remember seeing a McDonalds until long after that, though we were eating at Burger King by then, which I didn’t like. I do remember when I was younger, I loved eating those little Royal Castle hamburgers, and the Birch beer. But I also remember feeling that the cost added up too quickly in relationship to my appetite when I was paying for them myself. I needed my money for more important things, like slot cars and movies.

Posted on 09/10/2013 at 7:31 AM

John Lipe says:

During years at Miami High(59) we ,almost daily, went to Royal Castle Near 37 th Ave and Tamiami Trail,next to Trail Theater, for burgers and birch beer in frozen mug.The man who usually served us was named Mr. Johnson, his son also attended MHS.One day, when we first started going in there, he told us to quit “mumbling” when we placed our order. From that day on, we affectionally called each other “Mumbles”. We often would comment about the chili . Mr Johnson would tell us ,“don’t make fun of the Chili, some day, you’ll be old and weak too”. What fond memories, thanks for helping us recall them

Posted on 10/27/2013 at 1:34 PM

Curt Whitney says:

I grew up in El Portel /Miami Shores area 1945-1959. My brother and I would skip Sunday School and walk down NE 2nd Ave to the Royal Castle in Little River for a Birch Beer. The local birch beer from a brewery here in Sylva, NC is nowhere as good.Such a great bunch of memories here. I might just have to drive back down there soon. Also remember Billie’s Drive In at 79th at the bay, was a Maimi Edison hangout.

Posted on 10/28/2013 at 9:42 AM

Steve Van Valkenburgh says:

Does anyone remember the Royal Castle at the corner of Caribbean Blvd. and US 1?  I grew up in Cutler Ridge/Perrine (72 Palmetto grad) and have so many great memories of Royal Castle.  They also had GREAT Honey Buns!!!

Posted on 11/23/2013 at 5:42 PM

Carl galligher says:

Enjoyed all the notalgic comments. Im 61 & remember living north of miami near Davie, homestead, cocoa bch, & tampa during late 50s - early 60s. Remember asking & mom taking me to see Steve Reeves in original Hercules &
Darby Ogill at a theatre in hollywood fl. They would take me regularly to RC for several burgers & birch beer. Great memories.

Posted on 12/09/2013 at 2:38 PM

John Clitherow says:

I attended U of M from 1958 to 1963, and ate at Royal Castle all the time.  I moved to Chicago, but whenever I returned to South Florida, I would visit a Royal Castle.  I remember looking for one on a visit in the early 70s….and was very sad to find they were gone.  I would not have survived college without Royal Castle!

Posted on 01/02/2014 at 1:57 AM

Ed Horowitz says:

Wow… a Royal Castle page! I grew up in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid and went to the Royal Castle at the corner of Warrensville and Mayfield for both breakfast and lunch with my buddies at least three time a week! LOVED IT!
I have my brother and sister coming down to visit me in a couple weeks, and I going to surprise them by bring them down to your store blindfolded! They will not belive what they’ll see when I have them take if off!

Posted on 02/04/2014 at 6:32 AM

Norm says:

Mr Brimberry,

It’s a shame you can’t revive the dream and bring the chain back, you’d have a loyal following. I remember taking my little brother to Royal Castle and getting us a box of 6 burgers and 2 birch beers and having the best times of our lives

Posted on 02/19/2014 at 9:56 PM

Norm says:

Mr Brimberry,

Are you still serving Castleburgers the way we remember them and birch beer too?

Posted on 02/19/2014 at 10:23 PM

Mike Jr. says:

Update from Cleveland Ohio - the former Royal Castle in Parma on Pearl Road (Route 42) just south of Brookpark road - which was became a Pizza Hut carry out / delivery - is no more - it is vacant again - just waiting to be restored to its former glory as a Royal Castle ! ! ! (PLEEEEZE ? ? ? )  and the one at Memphis and Fulton that had become a doughnut shop is now (ugh!) a check cashing place of all things ! ! !  Are the two Royal Castles still open that are in Florida ?  My Harley is just begging to get some miles put on it and I can’t think of a better destination (other than Sturgis)  I’m sooooooo tired of the snow and cold so as soon as it breaks loose up here - hmmmmmm - lookout Florida (if they are still there)  ROADTRIP ! ! ! !  Can anyone tell me if they are still open ? ? ?  Thanks.

Posted on 02/20/2014 at 1:02 PM

Charlene Wells says:

I grew up in Miami, use to go to Royal Castle 79th St & 27th Ave. It was a late nite stop & after Church stop! Really enjoyed it. Lot of good memories in Miami in the 50’s & 60’s. I still think about Royal Castle a lot! Goooood Burgers!And my Boy Friend @ the time worked @ Royal Castal!

Posted on 10/14/2014 at 8:57 PM

vigwig says:

I wondered what happened to Royal Castle. I used to frequent one in Coral Gables and the one that was just a soda fountain with stools.  It was pretty small and only had the counter where the stools are and was located at one of the busiest city bus stops where many of the routes stopped at and there was always a sea of people waiting for buses, trying to get on buses or getting off buses.  I think there was a Woolworth’s in the same block.What tasty birch beer they served in frosty, cold mugs.  Their burgers were really good.You had to stand up till someone relinquished their stool.My bus route back to home from downtown started here. Ah, the memories

Posted on 10/21/2014 at 11:35 AM

Lee Blair says:

To keep this thread active, let me add my perspective and add a question…
My family moved to Miami in 1959 and, as a pre-schooler, I was totally overjoyed by every visit to Royal Castle.  Will never forget the frozen mug and the burgers served on wax paper.  A total delight that has been sorely missed.
The question is about the Birch Beer which is not really reference in the article.  Have you been able to preserve it along with your burgers?

Posted on 11/20/2014 at 8:08 PM

GK Khalsa says:

I was raised in Miami in the 50’s .I ate at Royal Castle often, remember Birch Beer? I have a beautiful Royal Castle coffee mug in my office even today. Its a classic, such fond memories. I can send a pic of the mug if anyone wants to see it.

Posted on 01/30/2015 at 5:41 PM

Jon says:

Send that picture!!!

Posted on 01/30/2015 at 9:39 PM

GK says:

Where do i send/post the mug pucture?

Posted on 01/30/2015 at 10:23 PM

Ken Smith (Pa, NY, MB, NY) says:

I ate Royal Castle burgers and Birch Beer as a kid in Miami Beach in the early 1960s. It was great. Still remember the birch beer today.

Posted on 02/14/2015 at 12:06 PM

Ray Liptak says:

There used to be a Royal Castle in North Olmsted, in that triangle area where Brookpark road and Lorain road split, across from Great Northern Mall.  I have tried White Castle, with high hopes, but they suck in comparison to the Castle.  Loved their home fries,  they always dusted them with a little paprika while they were frying. That was back in the 60’s.  Than they opened a McDonolds a little west of the Castle on Lorain road followed by one of the first Wendy’s in the area.  That did the Castle in because Mc Donolds had good burgers back then compared to the burgers they sell now.  Wendy’s is still pretty decent after all these years, but McDonolds burgers are about as bad as burger could get and still be called a burger.  Can’t wait ‘till Jack-in-The-Box tacos come to town, they will hammer Taco Belles version of a taco.

Posted on 02/15/2015 at 6:20 AM

Gene Romantino says:

I lived on 8th and Alton rd. In Miami Beach. 1 block from Royal Castle.I went to Royal Castle all the Time. Also went to Ida Fisher Jr High. I moved to California and often wonder what happen to everone I went to School with. They would be in the Miami Beach High Class of 1968. wish we could have a reunion. Gene Romantino

Posted on 04/15/2015 at 4:57 PM

ocilia canton says:

I wish they would come back to Miami FL ,we badly need a economic burger these days mostly   the poor   ,  the old   and homeless .  The truth Burger King Mc Donald s packet with fillers bearly   any mmeat can not judge the   others burger places to many . But I do remember how great they were.

Posted on 05/29/2015 at 12:46 PM

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Posted on 05/30/2015 at 2:06 AM

Marco Casamassima says:

I used to eat there on 125st and 7th ave on Sunday mornings before doing my Miami Herald route and also many other times miss the old neighborhood that was a long time ago There us to be a Gulf station across the street on the north side of 125 st.owned by a friend of mine Gary Brazil father do not know have not been back in many years.

Posted on 05/30/2015 at 7:58 PM

Leilani Longbons says:

I lived in Ft. Lauderdale, and we had a couple to choose .....closes one was at Sear’s Town on Federal Highway. Really fun memories. We loved the article and have been passing it around to Family and Friends. Which brings me to this question….some of us remember a Royal Castle, way West in the 50’s….close to Broward and State Road 7 ??? Anyone else remember one out that way ?? Late 50’s. early 60’s…...I say way out there, because we lived near the Beach and nothing was West then…
We are getting a couple of cars together and driving to Miami this summer….but now I live near Cape Canaveral, so it’s going to be a day and a half drive, but well worth it !!!

Posted on 07/23/2015 at 9:06 AM

John says:

I grew up watching my grandma “Ms Ruby” cook and serve many customers at the 36 street/17 avenue and 125 street/7avenue locations for many years. That was my first job at the age of 12 until I graduated high school. She finally retired in the late 90s. I would love to buy into the business and open 3 stores.

Posted on 07/29/2015 at 11:26 AM

Founder's great grand daughter says:

My great grandpa is the founder of royal castle, William singer, I would love to finally try it!!

Posted on 11/28/2015 at 7:44 PM



Posted on 01/15/2016 at 5:51 PM

Gerald Young says:

Those were the days before stores started cheating us out of an honest fair deal. The meats were big, rich and juicy. No crap fillers. Kind of sad that life keeps repeating the same bull! At least I was lucky enough to enjoy its short life.

Posted on 01/16/2016 at 1:55 AM

Jonathon says:

I am looking for a person named Nako or Naco I met in Apopka, Florida and hung at the Royal Castle in Downtown Orlando in 1972.

Posted on 02/28/2016 at 12:22 AM

John says:

Do they still have Birch beer!?

Posted on 06/22/2016 at 6:46 AM

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