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In-N-Out confirms plans for its next Oregon burger joint: Keizer

By Dylan Darling, The Register-Guard
Published: September 4, 2018, 9:56am

Eugene, Ore. — In-N-Out Burger — a California fast food chain with a secret menu and cult following — has finally confirmed plans to come to the Willamette Valley.

After years of rumors and a couple of hoaxes that toyed with In-N-Out burger believers, the company intends to open its third Oregon location in Keizer. Not Eugene or Springfield.

“We do hope to open a restaurant in Keizer at some point in the future,” Carl Arena, In-N-Out’s vice president of real estate and development, said in a statement. However, he added that design elements such as building exteriors, site layout, circulation and access still were evolving.

In-N-Out’s Keizer plans first came to light on Aug. 20, when a company official went before the Keizer City Council to comment on a sign ordinance. Keizer Senior Planner Shane Witham said Friday that the city has yet to receive any building permit applications from the company, but it appears that it wants to build at the Keizer Station.

The shopping center is next to the Volcanoes Stadium just off Interstate 5, about 70 miles north of Eugene.

Commercial real estate brokers in Eugene say the company previously checked into possible locations in Eugene and Springfield, but didn’t find a suitable spot.

The city of Eugene hasn’t received any planning or building permit paperwork from In-N-Out, Eugene spokeswoman Laura Hammond said, adding, “If In-N-Out wants to come, we’d be happy to have them.”

In 2015, a sign saying “Here Soon” along with the In-N-Out arrow logo appeared on a light post at a former Wendy’s on Franklin Boulevard in Eugene. The possibility caused a stir, but turned out to be a prank. A similar hoax in Salem in February also created a buzz.

Keizer, a city of about 38,000 people, is just north of Salem.

In-N-Out officials wouldn’t comment about why they chose Keizer for the next Oregon location rather than Eugene, Springfield or any other city along the freeway. The company’s first two locations in Oregon are in Medford and Grants Pass, both close to I-5. The Medford location opened in 2015 and Grants Pass in 2017. Long lines greeted the restaurants when they debuted.

The company began in 1948 in Baldwin Park, a suburb of Los Angeles. It now has more than 300 locations in six states — California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Texas. While the In-N-Out menu is simple, there are many secret options and combinations to order using code words, such as “animal style” burgers or fries. An animal style burger comes with grilled onions on top and animal style fries have cheese, onion and fry sauce.

When the Keizer In-N-Out will open remains unknown.

“Once we begin construction on a new location, it usually takes us about five months to build a restaurant and open for business,” Arena said. “However, there is still quite a bit of work to be done before we can even set a time to begin construction. Because it is still so early in the process, it would be premature to comment on a timeline or if we will even achieve a development approval.”