In-N-Out officials touched off a furor earlier this week when they tore down their Baldwin Park location, which many believed was the chain's oldest surviving restaurant. The Baldwin Park In-N-Out was demolished right under the nose of city officials who thought they were working with the company to preserve the site and turn it into a museum. The building dates back to at least 1954 but possibly 1948. (Even Huell Howser might not know.)
"City officials said they didn't know about the demolition until after it happened, although low-level staffers had signed off on the permits," reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
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"Had we caught wind of it, I would have personally stopped the demolition to create some dialogue with In-N-Out to preserve it," added Mayor Manuel Lozano.
Now, In-N-Out is saying they have big plans for the new location, possibly "a replica of the true first In-N-Out Burger as it looked in 1948." Is that Grade-A beef or a load of filler to appease customers with long memories? And if that was the plan all along, why not communicate it more clearly?
Contrary to some reports, this location, which also served as company headquarters at one time, is NOT the oldest surviving In-N-Out. Yes, the chain was founded in Baldwin Park in 1948 -- but in a different building. According to our sister blog, The Informer, In-N-Out veep Carl Van Fleet issued the following statement:
Please know that the building is NOT the original In-N-Out Burger. It wasn't even the oldest existing In-N-Out Burger. The oldest existing restaurant is in Pasadena. The original In-N-Out restaurant came down when the 10 freeway was built. That original site is roughly where the overpass support mound is.
This building needed to come down as it was in bad shape. We are considering the construction of a replica of the true first In-N-Out Burger as it looked in 1948. If that happens, we would like to build it right there where the old replacement building was.