Don’t get your hopes up: In-N-Out won’t be opening in New York City this year.
On Thursday morning, a series of signs with the burger chain’s branding were spotted at the intersection of St. Marks Place and Second Avenue, in the East Village. “NYC 2023,” is plastered below the In-N-Out logo. EV Grieve, a website that covers local news in and around the neighborhood, shared a picture of the signs with the caption, “Not sure if this is real or not.”
The California-based company denied any connection to the signs. “We are not affiliated with the signage featuring our logo and the implied message of opening a location in New York City,” says Kathleen Hardesty, a spokesperson for In-N-Out. “We do not have any current plans to open in New York City.”
Wheatepaste ad as seen on St. Mark's Place & 2nd Avenue in the East Village. (Reader photo.) @innoutburger NYC 2023 Not sure if this is real or not (and not for this location, as far as we know). pic.twitter.com/ngQ362tGE4— evgrieve (@evgrieve) June 15, 2023
For years, In-N-Out has been concentrated on the West Coast. The popular burger chain has close to 400 locations spread across California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Oregon, and Colorado, but slowly it’s been creeping east.
The chain opened its first locations in Texas in 2011, and earlier this year it announced plans to open corporate offices and restaurants in Tennessee — its furthest expansion east since its first outpost opened in Los Angeles in 1948. The first of the new locations opens in 2025.
In-N-Out president Lynsi Snyder, the granddaughter of founders Harry and Esther Snyder, has long denied an East Coast expansion. In 2018, she said in an interview that the burger chain would not open east of Texas in her lifetime. That hasn’t stopped rumors from spreading, and every few years an intact Double-Double shows up on this city’s streets.
Who’s behind the wheatpaste ads in the East Village? Hardesty says they “likely were created as a prank, or to attract online attention.”
Journalist Foster Kamer went further: “This is definitely by some ‘creative’ who moved to NYC after 2019, this prank happens once every few years, such is the value of institutional memory: Being able to cite the innate and unoriginal corniness at play here.”