White Castle to sell beer?

Soon, that cup could be filled with merlot!
Soon, that cup could be filled with merlot!

​Times are tough for America's restaurant owners.  McDonald's is planning a large-scale makeover for many of its restaurants, hoping to make them more 'chic.'  Wendy's has reworked its menu, changing to natural-cut fries and new burgers. Even Subway is getting in on the act, introducing Subway Cafes.

Not to be outdone, America's favorite broker of bitsy burgers, White Castle, has quietly been testing a couple of new piggy-back brands--think Arby's/Sbarro or A&W/KFC--that are located inside of or adjacent to White Castles. But more interestingly, White Castle has also been testing in-store sales of the one thing that makes White Castle infinitely more appealing: booze!

An article in the Columbus Dispatch today detailed the testing being done at a Lafayette, Indiana, location.  This White Castle also includes a Blaze Modern BBQ restaurant, a White Castle take on barbecue that features jalapeno cornbread and "super sweet" corn on the cob.  (No, we don't want to know how it gets "super" either!)

Blaze Modern BBQ is one of three concepts White Castle is now testing.  The other two are an "Asian" food idea called Laughing Noodle and a grilled-sandwiches enterprise called Deckers.  But what is probably most interesting is the revelation that White Castle is also trying out alcoholic beverages on its menu.

This PDF of the Modern Blaze BBQ menu also includes a selection of beers and wines.  Included on the admittedly scant list are Bud, Bud Light, and Miller Lite.  Also listed is a sure-to-be-disappointing Seasonal Beer.

Even more humorous is the inclusion of four wines, all from California-based vintners Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, whose website appears more suited to peddling pina colada mix.  The options offered are chardonnay, moscato, merlot, and sweet red.  The Hot Dish is saddened by the realization that we will still have to make two stops to enjoy our favorite meal of chicken rings and sauvignon blanc.

All of this brings up one very important question: Considering that the vast majority of White Castle's sales are made to individuals who are already drunk, how much of an impact will this change really make to their bottom line?

This story did, however, give us a million-dollar idea:

What if Domino's began a new service in which the driver delivers both the pizza and the weed?

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