SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY — In less than three months, White Castle's steam-grilled sliders will be sizzling as the first restaurant chain expected to open its first location in Arizona, according to a spokesperson.
The 4,589-square-foot restaurant, which is currently under construction near the Loop 101 and Via de Ventura, expects to open in "late September," said Teamworks Communication, the local public relations firm hired by White Castle.
A specific opening date has not yet been announced.
The restaurant will be part of "The Block at Pima Center," a 22-acre mixed-use development part of the Salt River's Talking Stick Entertainment District.
When it opens, it will be the largest stand-alone restaurant that White Castle has, officials said during a ground-breaking ceremony in April. It will also have an 1,100-square-foot patio with seating for up to 50 people.
The restaurant chain also released a video time-lapse of the construction progress thus far. The 1:29 video shows construction crews working on the foundation and installing the framework of the restaurant. You can watch it below.
The April ground-breaking ceremony was attended by White Castle officials, officials with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and rocker Alice Cooper.
Cooper, who is quite the White Castle fan we have learned, will have his own corner booth with a photo of him seated on a throne and surrounded by sliders hung on the wall. He was inducted into White Castle's "Cravers Hall of Fame" in 2014, three years after he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
"Being born in Detroit, it was a staple part of your diet," Cooper told ABC15 back in April. He said his dad would bring sliders home when he was a kid. "We loved them. They were like addictive, like eating potato chips. You couldn't stop eating them," he said.
Officials previously said the restaurant would bring 50-80 new jobs to the area. Hiring would start in mid-August, a spokesperson said, but no other information was available.
It is one of three additions coming to the Salt River's Talking Stick Entertainment District.
Down the street, construction crews are working on Medieval Times, the rambunctious dinner theater and jousting tournament. A spokesperson for Medieval Times said they were expecting to open in "late July." A specific opening date has not yet been announced, but they have begun accepting reservations for dates in late August through the end of the year.
Near Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Great Wolf Lodge is also under construction. The 350-room hotel and 85,000-square-foot indoor water park will open on Sept. 27, 2019, nearly three weeks earlier than initially anticipated, officials said.
When it opens, the indoor water park will also debut a new ride: the Diamondback Drop, a “four-person, high-speed raft ride” that is “filled with serpentine curves and high-bank thrills,” according to a news release.