The citizens of Escondido have been waiting for nearly 20 years to order a double-double with animal style fries and they may soon get their wish.
The popular burger chain, In-N-Out, which has been conspicuously absent from the suburb, plans to open a restaurant at a site near the I-15 and Valley Parkway interchange.
Escondido business leaders say that opening an In-N-Out would attract more consumers to their city and would improve its reputation. The Chief Executive of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, Harvey Mitchell, said “In-N-Out is something every good city ought to have.
Escondido, which is home to 135, 000 residents, does not lack restaurants. The prospective site for the In-N-Out is right behind Coco’s and Del Taco and other quick serve restaurants such as McDonald’s and Jack In The Box are close by.
However, Escondido residents currently have to travel to San Marcos, Carmel Mountain Ranch or Temecula to get their In-N-Out burger.
There is only one hurdle that stands in the way of Escondido getting those burgers, fries and shakes- freeway signage. According to the North County Times, In-N-Out has requested a special freeway sign that would increase their visibility on I-15.
City regulations limit freeway signs to 150 square feet and adding the In-N-Out sign would exceed that cap. Eighteen years ago a similar signage dispute brought and Escondido In-N-Out deal to a standstill.
The citizens of Escondido do not want to watch another chance to have the burger chain slip away, as they have watched In-N-Out build more than a dozen restaurants in San Diego county since the dispute.
Escondido Economic Development Manager, JoAnn Case told the North County Times, “That chain has a kind of cult following and the community has been very outspoken about wanting to have an In N Out.”
However, In-N-Out has not yet presented its plans to the city’s Design Review Board, delaying the process further.
Real estate manager and location scout for In-N-Out, Mike Bailey assured, “We’re not done with the deal yet. The city is requiring us to work out some things with neighboring businesses that we have no control over.” However, there is no reason not to be confident that the deal will go through.
In the best-case scenario, the restaurant would open next spring.