A big part of the full experience of visiting a theme park is the endless variety of food offerings. While food options continue to become more elaborate, many food stands keep up with the changing menus and appetites of their guests.
|One of the most well executed park events was the 1980 Oktoberfest which took place in the park's Garden of Eatin' catering area. As a new offering, park management went all out importing a Festhalle and numerous portable Bavarian food and drink stands. Given the overwhelming success of the autumnal festival, Six Flags Great Adventure invested heavily the following season to build permanent versions of the temporary beer hall and food outlets. By the time Oktoberfest rolled around on September 18, 1981 for the second season, the park was well prepared to accommodate guests with their newly installed kiosks and pavilions.|
|The Charcoal Pit was
one of the new stands added to the Garden of Eatin' for 1981, positioned
just inside the catering area's boundaries. The smell of grilling sausages lured passersbys to come
in and eat, drink,
and celebrate the spirit of the Oktoberfest season.
When Oktoberfest was temporarily discontinued after 1982, the stand was not used except as part of private catering. The name remained until mid-1984 when it was changed as a direct result of the tragic Haunted Castle fire just feet away. Although the stand did not suffer any damage, the Charcoal Pit moniker was obviously in poor taste given the tragic event and quickly renamed.
For many seasons it became known as the Country Food Fair. When Oktoberfest came back in 1989 the stand was renamed the Oktober Haus to celebrate the renewed festival which lasted through 1992. That name would remain on the building through 2005.
|With the Time Warner era of ownership
for Six Flags, great efforts were made to bring more themed elements
into the park to create better themed areas. When Batman & Robin: The
Chiller was added to the park in 1997, the Charcoal Pit building was one of the closest
structures to the new roller coaster and plans were made to retheme it to fit the new industrial/Gotham-look of the neighboring
coaster. Though the update to "Snack City" was drafted it never came
into being for varying reasons including changes in ownership with
Premier Parks acquiring the Six Flags chain from Time Warner.
For the 1997 season with the construction of The Chiller coaster,
the entrance gate and fence for the catering area were moved back and
the former Charcoal Pit became accessible without entering the catering
While the stand operated sporadically selling soft drinks and pretzels for years, it wasn't until 2004 when it became the park's new Kosher outlet - the Reuben's Glatt Spot Deli. The stand offered a wide array of Kosher foods for the growing crowds of Orthodox park goers. The Glatt Spot also had sporadic hours and operations and only lasted through the 2007 season at this location.
|While once a part of a thriving Old Country area of the park including rides, shops, and game stands, the 2008 season saw this portion of the park shuttered to reduce operating costs during a turbulent financial period for Six Flags. Even years later until 2017, the stand sat largely unused and abandoned though it was repainted and updated for the 2017 season when the new Justice League Battle for Metropolis dark ride was added across the pathway. Even though the spruced up look of the Charcoal Pit building appeared to bring new hope for the food stand, this new look was short lived. The stand was demolished along with other buildings of the former Old Country area in preparation for the arrival of the new Cyborg Cyber Spin ride for 2018.|
|Original Spotlight: October 1, 2022. GAH Reference#: FOOD-1981-009|