The new White Castle location near Scottsdale, Ariz., proved to be so popular that the company opted to do something unusual.
Not for good, of course. After being hit with long lines of slider-loving customers all day long on Wednesday, the company opted to close the location at 4 a.m. Thursday to give the restaurant and its workers a breather and prepare for the next day. Locations are typically open 24 hours.
The restaurant reopened at 9 a.m. The company said it will now close every evening for a few hours, closing after every customer in line at 1 a.m. has been served and reopening the next morning.
“Wednesday was a record-setting opening day for White Castle,” Jamie Richardson, White Castle’s vice president, said in a statement.
The White Castle is Arizona’s first. Its grand opening at sunrise on Wednesday was greeted with long lines of customers, including “Cravers Hall of Fame” members Jamie West and Drew Schmitt, who parked their RV in a nearby lot 96 hours earlier to be the first in line. They also cut the ribbon on the location.
Crowds in line at the opening of the first White Castle in Arizona. Photograph courtesy of White Castle
The restaurant is big, 4,589 square feet, and can fit more than 200 customers, making it the largest free-standing White Castle in the world. It has TVs, free Wi-Fi, a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine and an open kitchen. It also features a large photo of White Castle fan Alice Cooper.
White Castle operates 370 locations, and this was the first company-operated restaurant west of the Mississippi. The Scottsdale location, like most of those restaurants, will be open 24 hours. Eventually.
“We have so many loyal fans in the Scottsdale area who have been craving a Castle here,” White Castle CEO Lisa Ingram said in a statement. “We look forward to serving them and to creating new friends and fans of our one-of-a-kind, steam-grilled taste.”