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In-N-Out is Out

In-N-Out Burger has pulled out of a possible Agoura Hills location.

It's official. An In-N-Out Burger will not be coming to Agoura Hills.

That’s right, the iconic burger chain will not be building a restaurant on Canwood St., between the Chesebro and Kanan freeway exits as previously thought. 

The restaurant officially pulled out last week. Mayor Harry Schwarz said he heard the news on Thursday. “Of course, we’re disappointed,” he said. “It’s their choice. Obviously we’re very disappointed.”

Bill Tucker, managing member of the Tucker Investment Group and owner of the particular piece of land, said it was a money issue. “It became too expensive for them to do it,” he said.

Tucker said the price was always the same, but In-N-Out had a change in personnel during the process. There was a new director and new people in charge of real estate, and they decided to pursue other locations, according to Tucker.

“We had struck a deal with them,” he said. “Then In-N-Out changed personnel halfway or two-thirds through the process last November. It just got expensive."

Tucker was actually somewhat isolated from the dealings, since he was planning on selling the land to a middle man who, in turn, was selling it to In-N-Out.

“I think it would have been good for the community,” Tucker said. “We had been negotiating, we had worked with them for quite a while, a year. We kind of expected it to happen, so it was a surprise.”

The city, while certainly grieving, should make a full and speedy recovery.

“For now, we have plenty of good dining places, especially good hamburger places, in Agoura Hills,” said Schwarz. 

There’s been plenty of businesses that decided against joining the city, but most don’t have the flavor and prestige—a double-double, if you will—of an In-N-Out.

Maybe it was more than just a money issue, though. 

The location was right off the freeway, so perhaps it would have been too visible from the 101. It’s possible that the teenage and young adult population of Agoura Hills would have been just too large for an In-N-Out. And what kind of business would it have gotten late at night, at say 9:01 p.m., when practically every other place in the city is closed by 9?

It was fate that the In-N-Out would break our hearts. It was too good to be true. Maybe in a few years, In-N-Out will be ready to commit fully. 

Raising a community’s expectations with false hope—I guess that’s what a hamburger is all about.

Valerie Fox August 04, 2011 at 07:02 PM
I think the traffic flow would have been difficult in that particular area.
Joseph Campana August 04, 2011 at 09:43 PM
We already have 4 burger joints off of Kanan. If anyone feels like a double-double it's worth the drive to Newberry Park. Our traffic is bad enough.
James Bridge August 05, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Who cares?
A Surfers Girl September 02, 2011 at 02:17 AM
No money for Tucker, no awesome burger for us, but the lady can pull out of her driveway now, the health nut for trader joes is happy we're having no in n out burger, and the 4 burger joint person is happier we have to drive far to be able to get an On N Out burger, so, it looks like everyone wins...except the people who like and wanted it.
Jess Thomas September 02, 2011 at 04:38 AM
When this issue first came up, I decided to question my prior prejudices and visited the I&O in Ventura. The burger was a burned 2-ounce piece of shoe leather (after having asked for med-rare), about 3/4-inch of ice burg, a greenish and tasteless slice of tomato, pretty good slice of onion, and something that tasted like thousand island dressing. It was absolutely the worst burger I've eaten in a long time. It was a beef hater's delight. There are really good expensive burgers here in town at Ladyface and Islands. If you want a good cheap burger, try the Jumbo Jack at Jack-In-The-Box and ask for mustard added. It's got about five time the beef of a I&O for less money, and is way tastier. Besides, the ads are actually clever. Jess Thomas

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