- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - In-N-Out Burger fans are counting the days until their favorite fast-food restaurant opens in Medford, with many unofficial reports indicating Sept. 9 might be the magic day.

“It’s going to be bitchin’ when this thing opens up,” said Sam Garrett, a Grants Pass resident wearing an In-N-Out T-shirt who watched workers put the finishing touches on the building near the Rogue Valley Mall Wednesday.

It also could be a traffic nightmare, as cars filled with hungry patrons eager to try the first In-N-Out in Oregon back up onto Highway 62 on opening day.

Garrett, a Southern California transplant, noted his T-shirt has “California” written on it.

“The first T-shirts sold out of here will say ‘Oregon’ on them,” he said. “They will be collector’s items.”

Medford is the first city to get an In-N-Out in Oregon, though the California-based chain is located in several other states. An In-N-Out official previously indicated his company wants to open other locations in Oregon.

Garrett’s favorite meal at In-N-Out is the “4 by 4,” or “quad,” with four meat patties and four slices of cheese. Like many of the restaurant’s fans, Garrett knows all the names for the items that aren’t listed on the menu board. His burger of choice tops out at more than 1,000 calories and contains nearly 2,400 milligrams of sodium.

In-N-Out corporate officials won’t say when the opening will take place, but the website says, “Coming Soon.” Various social media sites indicate the opening will take place on Sept. 9, which is also the date many workers indicated as well.

Officials wouldn’t disclose the starting hourly wage, either, but the website indicates $11, plus employees get a free burger every day they work. According to the website, In-N-Out is looking for store associates and custodial workers. The company expects to hire 50-60 associates.

The Medford In-N-Out is 3,750 square feet with 51 parking spaces and is similar in style to its other restaurants, featuring white stucco walls and a red tile roof. According to documents filed with the city, the building is valued at $853,905, the equipment at $386,095.

The layout inside the building, which already is fitted with tables and stainless steel cooking equipment, is almost identical to the Redding In-N-Out, which previously was the closest location to Medford.

At other In-N-Out restaurants, the first few days after opening usually bring a rush of traffic, and a plan is reportedly in place to deal with the amount of cars heading into the Rogue Valley Mall from Highway 62.

Saul Cervantes with Natural Systems Landscape of Medford said he just had an In-N-Out burger in Santa Rosa, Calif., about a week ago and thinks In-N-Out is his favorite fast-food restaurant.

The 23-year-old White City resident said he’s a fan of menu item No. 1, which is a double-double burger, fries and a drink. But Cervantes likes “animal-style” fries and a vanilla shake. “Animal style” refers to fries with grilled onions, cheese and Thousand Island-style dressing. There’s also an animal-style burger with pickles, extra spread, grilled onions and mustard fried into each meat patty.

Scott Starr, also with Natural Systems Landscape, said he enjoys In-N-Out, but it’s not at the top of his list for places to eat.

The 43-year-old Medford resident said he probably won’t come around for the opening because the store expects to be slammed.

“It’s good, but it’s not worth waiting in line for,” Starr said.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/

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