Last Tuesday, the Council approved a request to build a fast-food restaurant near Firewheel Town Center. In conversations with the planning staff, in testimony before the Plan Commission, and in private conversations that I had, all indications are that the first In-N-Out Burger in Texas—indeed outside California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada—will be here in Garland and District 1. I recognize that a business decision here or there could change that picture, but that indeed does seem to be the current picture.
Double-double animal style coming to Garland Texas.
(photo by Nancy Nichols, D Magazine)
It has been widely reported, such as AOL's Daily Finance, that "Garland is, in fact, one of the locations that we are currently working on." Carl Van Fleet, the chain's vice president of planning, added that there are a couple of locations in the Dallas area that might be appropriate for the restaurant. "I'm sorry I can't be more specific at this time," he says. "We just want to be careful about being accurate and don't want to mislead anyone."
Since there had been mention publicly both at the Plan Commission and speculation in the local media, I posted Wednesday last week that the application had been approved. Since then word has spread faster than a Santa Ana-driven California bush fire. According to the QSR (Quick Service Restaurants) website, "A search of 'In-N-Out Texas' resulted in 44.7 million results, and 'In-N-Out Garland' got 1.16 million."
Both of those sources and many more specifically mention and link to that previous post on this blog. Most referring sites to this blog right now are linking because of the In-N-Out post. Previous posts have garnered lots of links but not to this scale.
Local media has had a major role in conveying the story, too. Ray Leszcynski, Dallas Morning News reporter, posted information about the zoning approval on the DMN Garland Blog and the DMN Eats Blog followed the lead. D Magazine's SideDish reporter, Nancy Nichols, also posted Monday on the possible In-N-Out location. All those posts garnered many comments—and opinions. There have been stories on the local television stations and Mayor Ron Jones has given comments. City staff member and principal planner Maxwell Fisher has also garnered media time after questions about the zoning case.
The California media also seems somewhat infatuated with exporting more In-N-Out Burgers. The Fast Food Maven, Nancy Luna, at the Orange County Register, confirms the chain's expansion and discusses some of the logistical challenges that In-N-Out faces to maintain its sterling reputation for freshness in a new region so far from its current base of operations.
Those leaving comments in Texas and California have launched a bit of a burger war. No one appears safe. Even Blue Bell ice cream has been dragged from the sidelines. Of course, burgers and Blue Bell...well, District 1 has that covered already.
Many blogs and forums have weighed in to express their excitement or opinion, including car sites.
Maybe going viral isn't the best expression for this phenomenon; maybe it would be more accurate to say it's gone "animal style."