Every time some local blog posts that In-N-Out's coming for sure this time swear to God not lying you'll see, the Unfair Park in-box fills up with missives from the hopeful and the haters who wonder, yet again, for reals? Pretty sure this latest go-round started with a post on The Advocate's blog Sunday night: "In-N-Out update: Six Dallas-area sites said to be under contract." At which point Nancy Nichols weighed in. At which point KXAS-Channel 5 took a bite.
And so off I went: On Monday I called my old pal Carl Van Fleet, vice president of planning and development for In-N-Out, to whom I spoke last July about those persistent rumors. Back then, he said "we are evaluating as part of our long-term growth planning a variety of markets, including Dallas, and part of that evaluation involves investigating sites." Very non-specific. Very non-promising.
So. I get to the office this morning to find this message from Van Fleet, left on my voice mail at 7:20 p.m. yesterday:
"I know there were a lot of blog reports and Web site reports about us and sites. And we are looking at a few specific sites in the Dallas area -- that part is true. But it is way too early for us to get specific about sites and even extremely premature to speculate as to when we might actually ... if or when we might actually be selling hamburgers there. We're still in the early stages of lookin' at some sites and working on a few deals, and a lot could still change in that regard. I hope that helps. Give me a call if you have any further questions."
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I've called him back -- sure, I've got further questions, why not? You know, when I lived in Los Angeles for about two years in the mid-1990s, I lived two blocks from an In-N-Out. Ate there, like, four times. I mean, it was good-n-all, but ...