It's official. An In-N-Out Burger will not be coming to Agoura Hills.
That’s right, the iconic burger chain will not be building a restaurant on Canwood St., between the Chesebro and Kanan freeway exits as previously thought.
The restaurant officially pulled out last week. Mayor Harry Schwarz said he heard the news on Thursday. “Of course, we’re disappointed,” he said. “It’s their choice. Obviously we’re very disappointed.”
Bill Tucker, managing member of the Tucker Investment Group and owner of the particular piece of land, said it was a money issue. “It became too expensive for them to do it,” he said.
Tucker said the price was always the same, but In-N-Out had a change in personnel during the process. There was a new director and new people in charge of real estate, and they decided to pursue other locations, according to Tucker.
“We had struck a deal with them,” he said. “Then In-N-Out changed personnel halfway or two-thirds through the process last November. It just got expensive."
Tucker was actually somewhat isolated from the dealings, since he was planning on selling the land to a middle man who, in turn, was selling it to In-N-Out.
“I think it would have been good for the community,” Tucker said. “We had been negotiating, we had worked with them for quite a while, a year. We kind of expected it to happen, so it was a surprise.”
The city, while certainly grieving, should make a full and speedy recovery.
“For now, we have plenty of good dining places, especially good hamburger places, in Agoura Hills,” said Schwarz.
There’s been plenty of businesses that decided against joining the city, but most don’t have the flavor and prestige—a double-double, if you will—of an In-N-Out.
Maybe it was more than just a money issue, though.
The location was right off the freeway, so perhaps it would have been too visible from the 101. It’s possible that the teenage and young adult population of Agoura Hills would have been just too large for an In-N-Out. And what kind of business would it have gotten late at night, at say 9:01 p.m., when practically every other place in the city is closed by 9?
It was fate that the In-N-Out would break our hearts. It was too good to be true. Maybe in a few years, In-N-Out will be ready to commit fully.
Raising a community’s expectations with false hope—I guess that’s what a hamburger is all about.