The line – and resulting traffic – got so out of hand that the Aurora Police Department resorted to using Twitter to beg people to support other local eateries and hit the In-N-Out Burger another day.
Those who stayed in line, however, were treated to at least one dustup, in which two would-be In-N-Out customers actually exited their cars and got into a fistfight during the wait.
Colorado residents waited as much as 14 hours to get takeout from the first two In-N-Out Burger restaurant locations that opened in the state Friday. The Aurora location is pictured
Police in Aurora, Colorado, took to Twitter to announce traffic delays as a result of the lines of cars waiting to get into the In-N-Out location throughout the day Friday
At the In-N-Out location in Aurora, Colorado, the line of people waiting to get inside wrapped around the mall by 8.15am, hours before the restaurant opened.
Two and a half hours later, police reported that the line was already causing traffic delays in the area.
‘It’s official, traffic is double double animal style right now all around the mall,’ the Aurora Police Department tweeted at 10.40pm.
‘We are on hand helping manage the massive traffic response. Be patient and be kind. Maybe support another local eatery today and In-n-Out another day if traffic is too hectic for you.’
A few minutes later, police tweeted: ‘Speaking of local Aurora eateries who need business, let’s make some suggestions for everyone! Who is your go-to hometown Aurora eatery? Let’s help give some alternate ideas for lunch today for those who decide to bail on the long lines!’
At one point during the long lineup, people were caught on camera getting into a fight in Aurora, while waiting to get into the In-N-Out
Colorado Springs In-N-Out manager Saul Arreola (in white) shakes hands with Ken Vizzini (right), the first person to get served at the location after waiting on line since Tuesday
The massive lines and traffic leading to Aurora’s In-N-Out location as shown from the sky
Customers wore masks and practiced some social distancing while waiting on line in Aurora
Customers are seen waiting in long car lines on Friday morning, waiting to get into the Colorado Springs In-N-Out location
Customers at the Colorado Springs In-N-Out location are seen standing on line far, far away from where the actual restaurant’s doors are
Social media users were quick to joke about the long lines and how it would be quicker to drive to nearby states to eat at their In-N-Out locations than to wait on a 14-hour line
The tweets didn’t seem to have any impact on those waiting on line, however, as police tweeted at about 2.23pm that ‘IN-n-Out burger is now at a TWELVE HOUR WAIT. I repeat TWELVE HOURS. Traffic is still significantly impacted in the area surrounding the mall.’
Police went on to say that the restaurant ‘will close before you get to the window most likely. Meanwhile many other local eateries do not have a wait hint hint.’
At 4.02pm, police updated the wait time to 14 hours. They also estimated that the line had wrapped around the mall location twice and that there were backups on some nearby highways as a result.
Police said the line to buy the cult favorite burgers was about 1.5 to two miles long.
At 4.33pm, police issued their ‘final update’ about the fast food line.
‘The last car that will be served tonight has been “marked” and is estimated they will be served around 2:00 a.m.,’ police tweeted, adding ‘We anticipate continued traffic impacts in the coming days so please use alternate routes, maybe you’ll find another great local eatery to support.’
The restaurant’s posted Friday closing hour was supposed to be 1.30am.
At some point during the afternoon, future In-N-Out patrons were seen getting into a wild fight during their wait in a viral video.
The people were caught on camera as the punched each other and got knocked down onto the ground, where they continued to swing at each other until other people managed to pull them apart.
It’s unclear what caused the fight, whether a queuing infraction or another issue had set it off.
Fast food fights are not an uncommon occurrence, especially when new or limited edition foods are involved.
In November 2019, one such fight turned deadly at a Popeye’s in Oxon Hill, Maryland, when two patrons got into an argument over an apparent line-cutting move while waiting to order the restaurant’s popular chicken sandwich.
A 28-year-old man wound up stabbed to death during the incident.
In-N-Out mania appeared to have been slightly more subdued at the chain’s other new Colorado location, in Colorado Springs.
Although the line was reported to be long as well – with patrons telling Fox 21 they’d driven an hour to get to the location or been on line starting at 6am – it appeared to be a more controlled affair.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that thousands of In-N-Out fans were on hand when the location opened Friday morning.
Customers waited some 90 minutes before they could get their food in the morning, but as the day progressed, the wait time progressed to as much as four hours, with cast backing up more than a mile onto nearby highways into a property development.
First-in-line Ken Vizzini, who moved to Colorado from Southern California, where In-N-Outs are plentiful, told the newspaper he had parked in the restaurant’s drive-thru lane on Tuesday at 8.30pm – and stayed there until the restaurant opened on Friday morning.
Although not expected to open until 10am, it began serving drive-thru customers at 8.45am.
Vizzini – who ordered a cheeseburger, fries and vanilla milkshake – said it was worth the long wait because ‘I wanted to be able to always say I was the first one through In-N-Out in the state of Colorado.’
The epic lines at both locations led to a multitude of jokes, with people pointing out that it would be quicker to drive to locations in neighboring states – or even fly to California – than it would be to get served at the Colorado locations.
In-N-Out officials said that they had 10 other restaurant sites in mind in Colorado and expected to open a dozen locations over the next five years.
The two Colorado locations are the latest to open outside the chain’s California home state. As part of its growing eastward expansion, In-N-Out locations have been opened up in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Texas and Utah.