I wake up, take a shower, and jump in my car by 5:15 AM. Why? I’m heading to Orlando for an official statement that White Castle will make as it pertains to its future in Central Florida.
TESTING THE WATERS
A few years back, White Castle’s food truck the Cravemobile made a few appearances to long lines and hungry crowds in Orlando. It then followed that up by a couple of appearances in South Florida, One of which I helped organize in Miami.
After considering all the facts, White Castle was more than likely announcing an expansion into Florida. Since their opening in Wichita, Kansas almost 100 years ago (1921), White Castle has stuck to the Midwest. Well, except for 2 Miami locations in the late 50s and mid-1960s.
Then, out of the blue, they opened in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2015, and most recently Scottsdale, Arizona.
So after the 3 & 1/2 hour drive, I try the find the location of the future castle. All I know is everything is going down at Daryl Carter Parkway and Palm Parkway. As I approach the stoplight at that intersection, I see the Cravemobile off the distance. I’m so distracted I miss the turn and end up having to down the block to make a u-turn.
TALKING TO THE VP
I’m greeted by White Castle VP Jamie Richardson when I arrive, who I’ve met on two previous occasions. Just earlier this year, I was able to do a signing for my book All About the Burger at their flagship store in Columbus, Ohio.
Jamie is like a steel trap and will not divulge any info yet. I do see a few signs littered around with the hashtag #WhiteCastleFL. I’m early, but we’re able to discuss the recent success of the Scottsdale opening, and whether a Miami location is in the books.
Just kidding, we didn’t discuss that ::: wink wink :::
He kicks off the event by mentioning that they just announced on the Bring White Castle to Florida Facebook page that White Castle is indeed opening in Orlando. Jamie also gives thanks to their cravers for their devotion and loyalty to getting White Castle back to Florida.
Then, the White Castle Royal Town Crier shows up in a full period outfit with hat and reads the official proclamation from parchment to us.
The town crier was a nice touch.
Here’s what we know about White Castle’s Orlando location:
- This will be the largest White Castle in the chain at 4500 square feet.
- The castle will be at the Village at O-Town West
- There will be 145 employees at this location.
- Florida makes the 14th state where White Castles exist.
- It will be open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.
- In 2 months, the ground will be broken.
- They hope to be open within the next 18 months, end of 2020, or early 2021.
While Jamie didn’t answer my Miami question, he did mention that their 1921 slider will be on the menu at the Orlando castle which should be music for everyone’s burger lovin’ ears.
I forgot to mention that everyone in attendance was given two cheese White Castle sliders which were worth the drive to Orlando alone.