White Castle will not reopen Springfield restaurant

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

White Castle has permanently closed its Springfield location after the restaurant was damaged by fire late last year.

The kitchen of the restaurant at 1901 N. Bechtle Ave. caught fire early in the morning of Saturday, Nov. 12. The marquee and a sign on the door had said the location was temporarily closed since then.

White Castle since has removed the Springfield store from its website, and Thursday, Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle, confirmed the closing is permanent.

“We have made the difficult decision to not reopen that restaurant,” Richardson said. “As a family owned business, the decision to close a site is always hard. But we know we need to be responsible to our 10,000 team members who rely on us to make certain we are able to be prosperous for generations to come.”

Members of the Clark County Food Fiends Facebook group reacted with sadness about the news of the closure.

“Noooo!” said a post from Susie Protsman. “Waited years to get a White Castle here.”

“My heart is broken,” posted Anthony Masker.

When Springfield Fire Rescue Division crews arrived Nov. 12, they noted significant smoke coming out of the ventilation. The fire started in a fryer, and the piping became hot enough that it started to extend into the structure some, fire officials reported.

The report listed significant smoke and water damage to the fryer and appliances.

Springfield Fire Rescue Division Battalion Chief Dan Faust said at the time: “It was clear that it was larger than what we typically deal with here at a fast food restaurant - a small fire that is usually controlled either by one of the employees with an extinguisher or the extinguishing system. It was clear that it was a bigger event than that.”

No White Castle employees were injured, and they safely evacuated after seeing the fire.

Locations in Trotwood and Marysville are among those listed as closest to the Springfield market, according to the White Castle site.

The Bechtle Avenue location in 2010 tested a dual-restaurant concept with White Castle in part of the building and The Laughing Noodle in the other portion. The Laughing Noodle here was the first of its kind and offered Italian, Thai and other dishes created with noodles as the centerpiece.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey