Orlando, Fla. — A groundbreaking ceremony—complete with spatula shovels and a royal town crier—commenced the construction of a new fast-food chain in Central Florida, to the delight of Orange County leaders and White Castle executives.
The “world’s largest,” 4,567 sqft reimagined White Castle is scheduled to start serving sliders in Orlando 24 hours a day in Spring 2021.
Tourists and residents in The Village at O-Town mixed-use development in southwest Orlando will have closest access to the nearly 100-year-old chain’s iconic sliders.
Unlike most White Castle locations, the Orlando castle will have two drive thru lanes, seating for 64 indoors and 56 outdoors and a sleek, industrial-style design.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the restaurant is good for businesses, as it’s expected to create120 jobs.
“This is all about bringing our economy back here within the Metro-Orlando area and it starts with these types of initiatives,” Demings said.
According to White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson, most of the White Castle positions will be hourly with openings for shift managers and a general manager.
County Commissioner Betsy VanderLey noted the burger chain shouldn’t have trouble staying busy after the new Horizon West high school opens its doors next summer.
Thursday’s event was also a momentous occasion for Harry Blackledge, who started the ‘Bring White Castle to Florida’ movement on Facebook nearly 10 years ago.
“We just kept bombarding White Castle. Sending them pictures of our page, tweet things to them, tag them in every post, and, lo and behold a year ago they reached out to me and said ‘it worked!’”
Blackledge drove over an hour from Wesley Chapel, FL to attend the groundbreaking ceremony and said he plans to make the trek often when the White Castle opens.
Florida hasn’t been home to a White Castle since the late 1950s and early 1960s in Miami when its original slider cost a mere 12 cents.
In 2020, White Castle operates more than 360 restaurants in 13 states with bacon and even meatless options like the Impossible Slider.