Oregonians have waited, speculated, begged, pleaded, and even created dedicated Facebook pages, but In-N-Out has always seemed to turn a deaf ear to our fair state. Until now.
Medford TV station KOBI reports that the California-based fast food burger chain has submitted a pre-application to the city, with plans to open its first Oregon location near the Rogue Valley Mall. The spot is currently a Shell gas station, located where Highways 99 and 62 converge, just a stone's throw from I-5.
Jim Huber, Medford's planning director, says, "The next step would be the formal application for what we call site plan approval. If that gets approved they would apply for a building permit and start building."
Although this is great news for Medford residents and road-trippers in general, the hope among the In-N-Out faithful is that this is just the first of more (closer-to-Portland) locations to come. The company's slow growth is due to its supply chain. Since no In-N-Outs have freezers or microwaves, the locations must all be within range of one of the two distribution facilities in California and Texas. Will the success of a Medford location inspire a Northwest distribution center that can bring Double Doubles to Portland and beyond? Only time will tell.
Update! After reaching out to the corporate office for answers to our burning burger questions, we received this response from Carl Van Fleet, the vice president of planning and communications:
"We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities in Medford but our project there is still in the very early stages. Once we begin construction on a new restaurant, it usually takes us 4 to 5 months to open for business, but we still have a great deal of work to do before we can even project a construction start date. Nothing is finalized at this point."
So, if you're hoping it'll be open by next summer, keep your fingers crossed that the planning stages go smoothly. As for an outpost further north, still no comment.