In N Out | Santa Rosa

For two hours, Scott Wallach, 20, of Santa Rosa and his friend Will Brown, 21, of Santa Rosa, patiently waited to be In-N0Out store 249′s first customers.

They would have waited longer, they said, having arrived the night before with blankets and chairs — willing to spend the night outside the doors. Unfortunately, restaurant management, who were hosting friends and family at the store last night wouldn’t let them stay on the property overnight.

Undaunted, the two friends came back at 7am to wait in stadium chairs. The effort paid off at 9am when the students were ceremoniously ushered in as the store’s first official customers. “I love this place more than the world,” said Nick.

Their order? What else. A Double Double. This classic combination of two hamburger patties, cheese, toasted buns and freshly made fries is what’s helped but In-N-Out on the map.

Like much of Santa Rosa — at least the burger-eaters among us — Wallach and Brown have been eagerly anticipating the Santa Rosa opening for months. The nearly 250-restaurant chain has locations in Rohnert Park and Petaluma, and a cult following throughout California. Best known for its dead-simple offerings (along with its lesser-known secret menu) and fresh-made fries, the restaurant was ranked among the nation’s best hamburgers by Consumer Reports.

Located just off Steele Lane near Hwy 101, there have been concerns about the notoriously busy restaurant causing traffic disruptions at the busy intersection. Opposition also lamented the potential for greenhouse gas emissions from idling drive-up cars and obesity concerns for children.

Nick and Scott with their Number 1

That didn’t seem to phase Nick Schulz of Santa Rosa, who was first in the drive-through line this morning. Nick said he was a regular at the Rohnert Park location and came early to get the prime first spot (he got a t-shirt for his efforts).

“I’ve been going for years, and I can tell you this is the best hamburger under $5 in the world.”

Staffers say more than 3,000 people applied for jobs at the Santa Rosa burgery, 1500 were interviewed and just 42 made the final cut.

The restaurant will be open Sunday – Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m’ Friday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.  and Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.

In N Out, 2131 County Center Drive, Santa Rosa

BTW: Six lucky BiteClubbers got a VIP pass to the restaurant at 9am this morning after guessing the opening date correctly. Congrats to Rob, Cheryl, Noemi, Joni, and BC pals Shana Ray and Christopher Hanson. Woop!

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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37 Comments

  1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries coming to the Safeway Center on Mendocino Avenue in mid-February. This will be interesting to watch. East Coast Burger Champ meets West Coast Burger Champ. I can promise I’ll be one of the first in line at Five Guys to do my own taste comparison. Zagat Rated Five Guys #1 Burger in the Country.

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  2. In n out is pretty cool. Good food and apparently a good corporate citizen. If you have seen the DVD of “Supersize Me”, where the guy eats at McDonald’s for a month, in the special features section, the author of “Fast Food Nation” is saying that although this is not really his kind of food, he gave In n Out high marks for using fresh local produce and treating their employees well making a lie of the major corporate fast food places (McDonald’s, Burger King, etc.) claim their production chain system is the only way this can be done. Anyway, bon appetit!

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  3. You know, the first time I had their burgers and fries I was unimpressed; the fries were chalky, the burger cold. I have since eaten there many more times because I was the odd one out in the family as to who liked the food and who didn’t, but still had to go. Now I cannot eat the fries fast enough and love the large leafed lettuce and tomato and onion on the burger. Yes, the meat is small but I like that. We go to a lot of local burger joints too but sometimes we just want a small burger and not half a cow and In-N-Out fits the bill.

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  4. I remember all those people camping 48 hours to be the fist to see The Phantom Menace

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  5. Don’t get it, don’t get it, don’t get it. Overly-salted, greasy patties, flimsy buns that dissolve in your hands, French fries only slightly crunchier than mashed potatoes and slightly less oily than my crankcase… worse than my high school cafeteria. Obviously, In n’ Out is a triumph of buzz over quality.

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  6. I’d like a Liter of cola

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  7. Where’s all the publicity about el Pollo Loco opening in Rohnert Park. It’s much better then in and out.

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  8. The city of Santa Rosa has created a traffic nightmare on top of an already traffic nightmare … The planner for this city is a joke!!!

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  9. I could have puked when I saw the paper this morning, “Prayers Answered”, in refering to the opening of In N Out Burger. It really is just the simple minded, religious types that get all excited about this over rated fast food.

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  10. This place has A-Ok hamburgers , but the fries are so lame . I will pass bye in a few months and get a burger after the long lines are gone .

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    • You have to ask for them to be fried crispy – then they taste alot better!

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  11. It’s really not that great a burger. For really not that much more, if any, money, and for really not that much more, if any, time, I can make a burger in my kitchen that tastes astronomically better. And, with probably a tenth of the sodium. I “get” the I’n’O thing, I really do, but anybody who thinks it’s genuinely a good burger is not as informed as they could be. Oh yeah, mos def I’ve eaten my share of I’n’O and Mickey D’s, so I know from whence I flatulate.

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  12. Wasn’t there a prize for those of us who guessed the opening date? : )

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  13. WTF? Last time I read biteclub it was an article lambasting how only chains were setting up shop in Sonoma County. In and Out is not a great burger, it’s just a burger. French fries are good no matter where you go.

    Why don’t you people have the same gusto for the places in Sonoma County that are rarely praised but always good. Like Burger City in Rohnert Park. The guy uses local meat and cooks everything to order just like IN and Projectiled out. If you really want to rock my socks…..show me a place that uses the best local beef, produce and I’ll wait, not overnight, but I’d wait in a line.

    Since this is a blog about food. Who knows local places that serve local beef and rocks….I’m asking. But I also offered one example.

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  14. I, for one…and my husband, two, are thrilled that In-n-Out burger is now open and so close!!! We love it! The staff in the Petaluma store is SO nice but now we won’t have to wait until we are in that area to get one. Fresh and tasty! (My order: Double Double Animal Style)

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  15. You burn more fuel starting and shutting off you car repeatedly. Somebody has the IQ of a french fry!

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  16. Those 2 guys ROCK! Wish I was in line with them!

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  17. Wow these guys need to get a life. Willing to sleep outside ovenight…..really? Its a freakin fast food restauant. I like In N Out too, but I just don’t understand what the big deal is. There’s one in Rohnert Park!

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    • Frankly, I thought they were pretty awesome. I mean, everyone needs a hobby. They’re students, for goodness sake. I was pretty impressed that they were awake.

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  18. Wow, those are interesting statistics – 3000 interviewed, 1500 interviewed, 42 hired.

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    • Amazing company – great to their employees! Kudos to all those hired!

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  19. In N out will also be implementing an aggressive “No Idling” policy for its drive thru in an effort to minimize the production of greenhouse gas emissions. Car occupants will be encouraged to shut off their engines. Also, the restaurant will stay open as late as the drive thru to encourage folks to park and turn off their vehicles.

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    • Uh, get id of city buses have you seen how many cars idle behind them because they are stopped and have only 2 or 3 people in them.

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  20. Oh YEAH!!! Stop the negativity you wretched beasts! In-N-Out FTW!!!

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    • Nice, It’s a full on slap-down of In-N-Out lovers vs. haters! Tear it up!

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  21. Oh my, give me a break! I ate there ONCE, and will be the LAST time. It was the most disgusting burger I have ever had. Why in the hell does people like these so much?? I think they are gross.

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    • People does like these becase they is delicious, Yuck. Do you even like burgers?

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      • yuck- I see what you’re trying to do- Jedi mind trick. “These are not the burgers you’re looking for.” Nice try- and great strategy. More burgers for you, right? WRONG!

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    • EXACTLY why i go !
      Disgustingly delicous.

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    • UUUUUUUUUUU-RIBE does loves the burgers!

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  22. As a member of the “other ” PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals), I am happy to have an In-n-out this close!

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    • If you don’t have anything good to say, then why waste everyones time making negative comments? Are you so narcissistic you must hear youself write…wow

      In N Out is Great food.
      Great service and quality food

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      • if you go there without being stoned maybe you would realize what a nasty burger they really serve!

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      • Casey is impotent. Makes out with In N Out Burger like American Pie actor gets it on with baked goods in his mother’s kitchen.

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  23. Wooo hooo! I say build three more in SR!

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