Wednesday, May 11, 2011 , Updated 4:02 p.m., May 11, 2011
UPDATEDx4 with photos: Opening day at In-N-Out Burgers in Frisco is a zoo
It opened early, at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Official opening time was 10:30 a.m., but on Monday, spokesman Carl Van Fleet said that the stores would likely open at about 9 a.m., "possibly a few minutes earlier." But the action started at least 18 hours before that, with a few tents camped outside the Allen store by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
In-N-Out is slated to open to a dozen outlets in Dallas-Fort Worth in the next year, with construction already underway in Dallas, Fort Worth, Las Colinas, and Arlington. But there's nothing like the excitement of the first.
Attempting to capture that excitement, Pegasus News writer Jessica Harp spent the night at the Frisco branch, where she camped out in her car and ticked off the minutes until the grand opening arrived. She wasn't alone.
“When I first heard that Dallas was getting an In-N-Out, I almost cried,” Danielle DeInnocentes of The Colony told Pegasus News. “When I watched the news last week and they showed a picture of the palm trees, I actually did cry. I couldn’t believe that in a week that I could drive here and get a Double Double anytime I want. It has been eight years since I have had that opportunity to do that. It is unreal; it hasn’t hit me yet.”
Much like the release of an Apple product, fans camped outside the Frisco location just so they could say they were there on Day One to receive one of the first In-N-Out burgers served in Texas. One man drove 200 miles to be in line for opening day.
The store had technically already given out its first burgers, for a family-and-friends party for employees on Tuesday. But because DeInnocentes was there so early, she received a burger. And then she got back in line.
“I have already had my first Double Double in Texas, but I am still camping out because it is worth it because I want to be here opening day,” said DeInnocentes, who is 25. “I am that much of a die-hard fan. Come hell or high water, rain or shine, I will be here.”
A cluster of tents and chairs were sprawled in front of the store in the parking lot, which was brightly lit despite the fact that we arrived at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. Fans swapped stories about their first burger, gushed about the secret menu, or talked about how much they love the company. Others would pass the time playing Halo or Dance Dance Revolution on a flat screen they brought along with them for entertainment.
And of course there were hecklers. Several passersby shook their heads as they drove by, and some shouted "why are you waiting?" to the people waiting in line "just" for fast food. The die-hard fans called them jealous.
“I lived in California for 18 years, and every time I got a Double Double it was like the first one all over again,” DeInnocentes said. “It was just magical. It is fresh. It is amazing. If you don’t get it, if you have never had one or you weren’t born there … some people just don’t understand the In-N-Out way of life. I am a big, big fan. I always joke that they should just pay me in food to work here. I don’t need money; just pay me in burgers and I will work here for free.”
UPDATE at 7:35 a.m.: The parking lot is packed and we can't back out of our spot even if we wanted to. The line to get a burger at In-N-Out is probably only 20 or 30 people standing outside. Most people are waiting in their cars to pounce. There's already a line forming at the drive-thru.
UPDATE x2 at 9:30 a.m.: The doors opened at 9 a.m. and a flood of the first 50-or-so people went in and could be heard cheering as they were handed burgers. Two more rounds of people have been admitted inside. One person was spotted eating Whataburger breakfast in line, which wasn't popular.
UPDATE x3 at 11:30 a.m.: We have photos!
UPDATE x4 at 4 p.m.: While many people are willing to fight crowds to get their coveted burger, the driver in the video below wasn't willing to wait in a giant line at the new Allen location. The video is pretty amusing:
In-N-Out Burger: One guy’s experience
Teresa Gubbins contributed to this report.
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