Tuesday, March 26, 2013

[Suburbia Lost] Buffet Style Restaurant - Sharonville


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...

View the entire Suburbia Lost series.


  1. I think this was a Sizzler before the Lotus Buffet. I just happened to drive by there tonight and a couple of pieces construction equipment were parked in the lot. Not sure if they are getting ready to demolish the building or it was just a convenient place to park for the night.

    I noticed that you missed the old Howard Johnson sign on the south side of the Capt Ds. in your last post. It has been re-purposed on the north facing side but the south facing side still has the original shape and some of the old paint texture can be seen under the black paint that is on it now. Just something that might interest you.

  2. You can enjoy corn nuggets at Bee's Buffet in Fairfield. Bee's might have been on your page when the owner was deported a few years ago!

    1. No shit? I grew up in Fairfield and lived there until I was twenty. Despite literally being able to walk to that restaurant, I never went there. Everyone used to rave about it too. I remember all that drama about him potentially being deported too. Didn't that place used to be Perkins?

      Also, speaking of Chinese Food and Fairfied, have you ever had Lee's Takeout over off Pleasant? BEST CHINESE IN CINCY!

    2. You need to try the Asian Buffet in Fairfield. Great deal, huge buffet.

      Also, I don't know when they'll be tearing it down, but Princeton Middle School in Sharonville on Chester Road will be demolished soon and replaced with the new facility immediately adjacent to the 1950's style school. Check it out and document it!

  3. Off topic, but: http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/the-33-most-beautiful-abandoned-places-in-the-world

    #16 in particular. Is that real!?!?!

    1. Nope, absolutely not. Mislabeled.

      We would've had to have a subway first before we could abandon the trains.

  4. Perkins is next door to Bee's. I wouldn't recommend Bee's though. It's a joke that cat's started missing when they opened back up! Lee's is absolutely the best in town though.

    1. That's right! Bee's used to be Boston Market.

      Do you remember back in like 2006 someone vandalized the Bee's sign out front to say "We don't have your lost cat?" Or something to that effect.

  5. 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.

    -- uh, surely you're joking, right?

    1. Nope. Completely serious. Working on a Kickstarter campaign with Glen Beck to get funding for my new restaurant creation.