America has a love affair with buffet style restaurants, but who can blame us? One flat fee, all the delicious food you can eat, subtle elevator music to set the mood, and all under the veil of an authentic cultural experience. You can find buffets everywhere in suburbia, even when they're abandoned.
Just off Chester Rd. in Sharonville, this shuttered joint is just down the block from a recently documented abandoned Captain D's. The Red, White and Blue motif seems like it'd be the perfect place to reopen as an American style buffet called "Uncle Sam's," where "freedom fries" are always on the menu and Fox News is on all the televisions.
However, it doesn't seem like it's reopening anytime soon. I'm not even sure how long it has stood closed. The building's sign is wrapped in canvas beneath some power lines next to the interstate.
Most recently it was an Indian food style buffet called "Grand India." No idea when the doors were locked.
I know for sure it was also once a Chinese buffet called Lotus Buffet. I know because my family used to love to go there. We even had my sister's fourth birthday party there.
In the above, unflattering photograph (that I'm sure Theresa won't be happy about) you can see the restaurant's furniture, nondescript beige plastic cups and one of their half eaten delicious rolls on a plate. I specifically remember that Lotus Buffet served these delicious things called "Corn Nuggets," aka corn wrapped in deep fried fat. I've sadly never been able to find them at any Chinese buffet since.
Buffets, like fast food, are a common sight among the abandoned suburban landscape. While their building layouts and branding may not be as iconic or recognizable as some of the shuttered drive-thru places, an abandoned buffet certainly isn't an uncommon sight.
The quest to document abandoned suburbia (and find a Chinese buffet that serves corn nuggets) goes on...