Am I the Only One That Remembers Karen’s Fondue in North Hampton, New Hampshire?
There’s a popular phenomenon known as “the Mandela Effect,” which, long story short, refers to remembering an event that never actually happened.
Examples typically include the comedian Sinbad starring in a movie about a rapping genie (it was actually Shaq), or whether it’s always been Berenstain Bears or Berenstein Bears (that one’s still up for debate).
In my case, it’s often remembering places or things that existed here in New Hampshire of which others have no recollection. I’ve already detailed the experience I had with the Polar Caves, but this time, I was left stumped.
It appeared I was the only one who recalled a restaurant in my native North Hampton called Karen’s Fondue.
I’ve asked and asked and asked both friends and family members, and each time I mention this establishment and its location, they say, “You mean Ronaldo’s?” It’s easy to understand their confusion, as Karen’s Fondue was located in the same strip mall on Route 1 (where you can still find Ronaldo’s).
Back in the day, it was also home to Welby Drugs and Video Etc. (and it's a frightening reminder of what can happen if you leave a videotape in the sun).
I remember Karen's vividly as a place we’d go after Memorial Day festivities, and yet, no one has my back. “What kind of fondue did you get?” they ask. And that’s just the thing: I don’t think I ever actually got fondue. In fact, the only thing I remember with near-certainty was that instead of serving chips or French fries, they served Fritos.
By now, I was starting to doubt myself. What kind of fondue place serves Fritos? Is it possible this “fondue” place was actually a front for Frito Lays? And did that videotape at Video Etc. really melt in a customer’s car, or did the guy with the glasses who loved the Red Sox melt it on purpose to use as an example?
I don’t care if he remembers to rewind – that’s most definitely unkind.
A funny thing happens when your mind goes back in time. You revert to an old way of solving things.
So in this case, I said, “Oh well, I guess I’ll never know.” But then, I remembered Google.
Sure enough, there it was – Karen’s Fondue, once located at 70 Lafayette Road in North Hampton.
Stranger still, Bizapedia says the business dissolved in the summer of 1994, while the O.C. claims the fall of 1995. This leaves us wondering: was Karen too distraught to serve Fritos due to O.J.’s white Bronco chase, or the jury’s verdict? That I cannot tell you.
Do you remember Karen’s Fondue? Are there any other local eateries only you can recall? Whatever happened to Karen L. Flaherty? If anyone knows, please tell me.
As autumn and winter approach, nothing would hit the spot like some melted cheese and Fritos. Who knows? Maybe that’s what it would take to get Steven Tyler to finally move to North Hampton.