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Updated: In-N-Out Opens to Lots of Smiles

The Rancho Santa Margarita site for the burger chain opened officially on Wednesday to healthy crowds. The drive-thru does boffo business.

Updated at 10:26 p.m.

It's a hit. At least, it is if opening day is an indicator of Rancho Santa Margarita residents' taste for burgers and fries.

In-N-Out Burger opened officially on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.—one hour ahead of its regular daily hours. Boys Kurt, Grant and Brett Stout were the first through the drive-thru, which earned them a few trinkets, complimentary meal, and the legacy of being Store No. 281's first customers.

Here's what Kurt Stout wrote on another Patch post:

AWESOME FIRST DAY!!! We were the first to go thru drivethru and first official order! We got free food, shirts, stickers,hats, and coins for free burgers (which we will NEVER use and keep forever!!!!) BEST DAY EVER!!!! Love In-N-Out!!! It was worth missing some school to be part of RSM history....

At 5 p.m., the drive-thru was more than 25 cars deep, and most of the 88 parking spaces were filled, making it look as much like an auto dealership as the Santa Margarita Ford dealership next door from whom In-N-Out purchased the property.

Barbie Fowler, who serves as the company's hostess and matron of the dining room, said the company expected to fill more than 2,000 orders by 5 p.m., giving it another six hours to push even higher.

"Everyone has been very orderly and surprisingly neat," Fowler said. "This store has been so easy to take care of today."

By 7 p.m., the restaurant drive-thru was two cars away from backing up to Santa Margarita Parkway.

Check back on Patch for video, and post your photos from the Wednesday opening of In-N-Out in Rancho Santa Margarita.

DAN K February 14, 2013 at 06:02 PM
sorry I coudn't enjoy all the fanfare. But burgers on Ash Wednesday didn't work for me
Karen February 14, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Well I was there at 10pm and there were still about a dozen cars in the drive thru.

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