SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY, AZ — Hungry for some of White Castle's two-inch-by-two-inch sliders? The wait time is over.
The Ohio-based fast-food chain opened its first restaurant in Arizona around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, at 9310 E. Via de Ventura, near the Loop 101 and Via de Ventura on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, near Scottsdale.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled for 8 a.m. and the restaurant opened immediately after.
Officials are expecting there to be long lines and heavy traffic on opening day (a few people were already camped outside the restaurant last weekend). As a result, some road restrictions will be put into place on Wednesday morning to help with traffic flow and congestion. If you are planning to pick up a few sliders, here is what you need to know and what you can expect.
TRAFFIC FLOW/WHERE TO ENTER
A spokesperson for White Castle said they have been working with the Salt River Police Department to coordinate traffic flow. There will also be signage and people out there directing customers to the restaurant. There will be separate entrances for White Castle and Starbucks.
Going to White Castle: Motorists who exit the Loop 101 at Via de Ventura will not be able to immediately pull into The Block at Pima Center entrance nearest the freeway. Instead, they will be directed west to the traffic light at 90th Street and will head north to another entrance.
Going to Starbucks: Those who just want to go to Starbucks will be able to pull directly into the complex at the entrance nearest to the Loop 101 and Via de Ventura. They will then exit out of the same entrance.
There will be a couple of parking lots where customers can park and wait in line vs. going through the drive-thru. A spokesperson said it is possible that the parking lots could fill up.
WHEN DOES WHITE CASTLE OPEN?
- A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 8 a.m. The restaurant will open immediately after, according to a spokesperson.
- White Castle's address is 9310 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85258.
- Online ordering will become available at 11 a.m.
- Delivery through Uber Eats, Door Dash, and GrubHub will become available at 1 p.m.
Update: Per a spokesperson, online ordering and delivery apps have been suspended until next week.
The first "couple hundred" people to visit the White Castle on opening day will receive a special lanyard, said Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle. There will also be additional restrooms, a prize wheel, Coca Cola Freestyle samples, and visits from Slide Head, White Castle's mascot.
LARGEST WHITE CASTLE EVER
At 4,589 square feet, it is the largest White Castle restaurant ever, and the first family-owned restaurant west of the Mississippi, according to Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle. It has a double-lane drive-thru with a high clearance, digital ordering kiosks; a 1,000-square-foot patio with tables, misters, heaters, and hanging lights; a shop with branded mugs, tumblers, and t-shirts; and Alice Cooper's Corner, a small section of the dining room dedicated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
Richardson said it also has a re-designed kitchen that is more open and will allow their staff to make 240 sliders at one time.
It will also be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with its entire menu available anytime, he said.
BEER, WINE, AND SLIDERS
Those already familiar with White Castle's menu should recognize the chain's staple menu items, including its Original Slider.
It will also be one of a few of the White Castle restaurants to feature the "1921 Slider," which is made with fresh beef vs. a frozen patty.
The dining room will also carry beer and wine, including Coors Light, Blue Moon, Harken Chardonnay 13, MacMurray Pinot Noir, and White Claw. Alcohol will not be served via the drive-thru.
ARE MORE WHITE CASTLE'S ON THE WAY?
It sounds like it could be a possibility, but no definite plans.
"We're so excited to be here in Arizona -- finally -- so we're going to really have this be the epicenter of cravings here," said Richardson. "Down the line, we're certainly open to considering other locations. Right now we're going to put all our heart and soul and energy to make this the best White Castle ever."
IF YOU GO:
9310 East Vía de Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85258