ORLANDO, Fla. - They call them Cravers. They love White Castle hamburgers. And they are thrilled the Columbus, Ohio-based burger chain is returning to Florida after a 52-year absence.
What You Need To Know
- World’s largest, free-standing White Castle opening in Orlando next year
- The groundbreaking for the 4,567-square-foot restaurant is November 19
- The newest Castle is part of a $1B multipurpose project off Interstate 4
Orlando will be the epicenter for Florida Cravers next year when the nearly 100-year-old company opens the world’s largest, free-standing White Castle in a new development off Interstate 4 north of Walt Disney World.
White Castle on Thursday announced a groundbreaking date -- November 19 -- for what it describes will be a “sleek, modern industrial-style architectural design” featuring the chain’s “iconic tower.”
“The 4,567-square foot restaurant will include indoor and outdoor seating, two drive-through lanes, and is expected to create 120 new jobs,” White Castle said.
Cravers have been buzzing about the project since it was first announced a year ago.
The fans played a role in the company’s decision to return to Florida.
A Facebook page called Bring White Castle to Florida, launched in 2010, has nearly 10,000 members.
“I hope they’re still planning on building,” one member wrote recently about the Orlando restaurant. “I need a White Castle to help me out of this funk that I’ve been in for 20 years since I moved to Florida and left the castle behind in Missouri.”
“As a family owned business, we’re always tuned in to what our customers and fans are saying — the devotion of the “Bring White Castle to Florida” Facebook page definitely caught our eye and reinforced to us we needed to consider opening in FL,” Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle Management Co. told Spectrum News.
White Castle, founded in 1921, owns and operates more than 375 restaurants located mostly in the Midwest and Northeast.
The chain’s founder, Billy Ingram, wintered in Miami in the 1960s.
That’s why White Castle opened there at the same time, Richardson confirmed. That location closed in 1968.
Since then, there’s been no White Castles in Florida.
The Orlando Castle will rise in southwest Orlando at The Village at O-Town West, part of a $1 billion mixed-use development called O-Town West.
O-Town West is coming together on 86 acres at Palm Parkway and Daryl Carter Parkway off I-4, a short drive for convention center visitors, theme-park guests and Dr. Phillips-area residents.
The project, an assemblage of four distinct master plans, will include apartments, office space, and a massive boardwalk dotted with restaurants and retail shops.
The Orlando Castle in The Village at O-Town West will include a Wawa, Taco Bell, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, and other restaurants, as well as a fitness studio, pet store and storage units.
When it opens sometime in 2021, Orlando Castle will be bigger than the chain’s largest existing restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona.
That restaurant was the chain’s first location west of the Mississippi River when it opened on October 23, 2019.
The Orlando Castle will put the chain in 14 states. And, like most White Castles, it will be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.