Beer & Sliders

White Castle burger chain testing alcohol sales, new concepts

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The White Castle chain is testing beer and wine sales at a location in Lafayette, Ind., reported the Columbus Dispatch.

The Lafayette location is a dual-concept restaurant that houses both a White Castle and a Blaze Modern BBQ, one of three new concepts being tested by the company. White Castle also is testing an Asian food concept, Laughing Noodle, in Springfield, Ohio, and Deckers, offering grilled sandwiches, in Lebanon, Tenn.

Blaze offers traditional barbecue dishes including brisket, pulled chicken and smoked turkey, baked beans and potato salad, while Deckers offers pressed sandwiches with fillings such as Italian meats, turkey pesto, French onion beef, veggies and peanut butter and jelly.

Beer and wine sales at the Lafayette store will help the company decide whether it wants to offer adult beverages at other White Castle restaurants, Jamie Richardson, vice president of corporate relations, told the newspaper.

Consumer responses to the new concepts and the beer and wine sales have been "better than expected," Richardson said.

But White Castle hasn't decided whether it will take any of the concepts forward to other locations, he said.

"We're in the learning mode, so we haven't come to any absolute conclusions yet," Richardson added. "But the [tests] are a good resource to consider when we're looking at new sites and seeing where we may grow next."

At the Lafayette store, White Castle offers a variety of wines for $4.50 a glass, while domestic beers cost $3.

Separately, Columbus, Ohio-based White Castle has rolled out its first Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispensers at two St. Louis area restaurants.

The Coca-Cola Co.'s Freestyle is touchscreen operated, enabling people to select from more than 100 regular and low-calorie brands including waters, sports drinks, lemonades and sparkling beverages. Users can choose from a wide variety of brands, including more than 70 diet and low-calorie beverages, more than 90 caffeine-free beverages and more than 80 unique brands offered nowhere else.

Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta.

WhiteCastle owns and operates more than 400 White Castle restaurants in 12 states.