Arctic Circle was where Tasty Thai is now
I've been wondering about this for a while, so I'm hoping you gurus at the newspaper can answer this. When I was growing up in the '70s, I remember my folks used to take me and my sister to the Arctic Circle for shakes and burgers. Nothing looked familiar the last time I drove through town, so I'm wondering, where was it and whatever happened to it?
— Brian, via email
Thomas Wolfe may have said "You Can't Go Home Again," but we here at Since You Asked headquarters are glad to help take you on a drive-in down Memory Lane, Brian.
We first found mention of the burger spot in the May 1964 Bell telephone book. According to its ad in the yellow pages, the eatery offered a smorgasbord of fast food fare all under one roof. Items listed included ranch fried chicken, fish and chips, shrimp, tacos, hamburgers and ice cream. It was located at 727 S. Central Ave. in Medford.
It was last listed in the 1983 telephone book, and the property was listed as vacant in the Medford Polk City Directory until 1986, when it became home to Mi Ranchito. The Mexican restaurant was last listed in the 1998-1999 Polk Directory, and by 2000 it was home to Tasty Thai, which remains at that location today.
If you're feeling particularly nostalgic for Arctic Circle's burgers and pioneering fry sauce (the franchise takes pride in that particular innovation), you can rest easy knowing that there are still Oregon locations in Newport and Woodburn. With that knowledge, perhaps you can go home again — just somewhere else.
Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.