Colorado greets its first In-N-Out with utter mayhem

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Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin (Getty Images)

If you’ve ever mentioned the name In-N-Out to a devotee, you’ll see that sheer look of joy spread across their face. People who love In-N-Out love In-N-Out. Personally, I’m happy to say I’m a fan too. But would I wait for 12 hours in line for my double double, animal style? I’ll let the hardcore fans take care of that.

In-N-Out opened two outposts in Colorado on Friday (one in Aurora, the other in Colorado Springs), its very first locations in the state. Things got out of hand quickly. Lines formed, traffic was impacted, and the police had to step in and deal with the fuss. The police department even suggested people support other local eateries as the wait shot all the way up to 12 hours.

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The longest I’ve ever waited in line for anything was for the release of Halo 2 (or was it 3?) back in the day, and it was only a few hours. It wasn’t even my idea, either; a bunch of my coworkers gathered up and went to Best Buy that night and I just tagged along. And just a few hours felt like an eternity. But 12 hours for a burger and some admittedly mealy fries? Man. I have a lot of questions, but mainly, where do you go to the bathroom when you’re in line that long and there’s a pandemic closing public facilities all around you? Does your car run out of gas? Why is it so important to be among the first people to eat at Aurora’s shiny new fast food franchise?

Of course, waiting in line for that long will make anyone a grouch. Some people were treated to viewing a fistfight while in the drive-through line, according to The Daily Mail. Sounds like a modern-day version of Medieval Times. There’s plans to open seven more locations in the state, so hopefully people won’t be punching each other for their next double double.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

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I lived in the Bay Area when they arrived there. It seemed to be a subcultural weekend ritual whose devotees were willing to wait in a surprisingly long line (though not on the scale of hours).

Some friends and I finally went to see what all the fuss was about when there wasn’t much of a line. The consensus: a burger toward the high end of fast food (for definitions of “fast” that depend on the line), decent fries, good onion rings (they have a reputation for being willing and able to whip up some off-menu items), but ultimately a fast-food joint.

They also had a reputation for good pay and treatment of employees, so there’s that.