COSTA MESA — The new In-N-Out Burger on Harbor Boulevard plans to fire up the grill Friday morning for customers who've been waiting for the fast-food joint to open.
The doors open at 10 a.m., said Mike Bailey, director of real estate.
Located at 3211 Harbor Blvd. — just off the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway Harbor Boulevard exit on the former site of the Kaplan's Deli, which was razed earlier this year — the In-N-Out is the Irvine-based chain's second franchise in Costa Mesa. The first is on 19th Street and Anaheim Avenue.
"We're very excited," Bailey said. "We are excited we will be opening a second one. We think it's a great opportunity for us."
The approval process required both the city and the California Department of Transportation's approval. It took five months to build the restaurant, Bailey said.
The new location was approved by the Planning Commission more than a year ago, but the restaurant's opening was in doubt after the city demanded that several conditions be met. Among those conditions was a requirement to maintain the landscaping between the freeway and the restaurant, according to a previous Daily Pilot article.
In-N-Out had requested a 65-foot sign to lure in customers from the freeway. The request was denied and the restaurant was required to follow the city's zoning code on sign height.
The 3,200-square-foot facility, which has a drive-thru, indoor seating and patio seating, also had to construct a wall along the southbound 405 offramp.
Some people have criticized the In-N-Out's location, saying that traffic would back up off the freeway and onto Harbor. But Councilman Jim Righeimer, who was then a planning commissioner, has said that In-N-Out's drive-thru could only be accessed directly off Gisler Avenue.