Monday, November 4, 2013

Chopstick Charley's

I've frequently been mesmerized by this abandoned building on Phillips Highway in Jacksonville - a bygone remnant of the Mad Men era called Chopstick Charley's, complete with a politically-incorrect caricature of an Asian man, presumably Charley, painted on its sign. Fortunately, it doesn't really show up in the picture I took here. But once while driving by, I spied an elderly Asian man, also presumably Charley, exiting the building and locking up. Wow, I thought, even though the place is obviously long shut down, he must still be using it for storage or something, or maybe he's working on renovating it to resell the property.

Imagine my surprise and horror when I googled it and discovered, to my astonishment, that the place is not abandoned, not out of business: it just looks that way, and on purpose. Yes, Chopstick Charley's in all its decrepit grandeur is still operating.

I don't usually go in for the oh-so-snarky school of hipster jerkoff "critics" using the internet to shame and ridicule people or businesses, but in the interest of socio-archaeological completeness I'm going to have to link to this restaurant review of Chopstick Charley's, dated this summer, July 19, 2013. This intrepid soul actually took one for the team, entered this place, and dined. And lived to tell, though also lived to regret. And of course, next time I'm back in Jax you know I'm going to have to check it out for myself, and hopefully write some sort of positive review (albeit from my own warped perspective) to help counterbalance the negativity of "Jaxfoodcritic"... even though I have no doubt every word he said was true.

Adjacent to Charley's is a dirty old paint-peeling-off motel that also appears abandoned, but now that I know CC's is still a thriving business venture I'm not so sure. The motel is seemingly a part of the Chopstick Charley's complex, and its sign simply reads, "The Joe." I don't understand. I don't want to understand.

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