Famous In-N-Out Burger coming soon to Rockwall

By J.J. Smith. Many of us have heard celebrities in California talk about how much they love In-N-Out Burgers.

Soon we’ll have a chance to taste them ourselves in Rockwall.

At the Rockwall City Council meeting Monday night, the burger chain’s DFW-area architect and project manager announced that Rockwall will be among the “first wave” of “many” In-N-Out locations which will begin opening next year across the DFW Metroplex.

Architect Brian Fetz, of Gerdes, Henrichson & Associates, appeared before the council to request a variance to the roof design standards of the I-30 Overlay district, in conjunction with a site plan for a 3,750 square-foot drive-thru restaurant which will be located just west of Toyota of Rockwall. The vote was 6-0 in favor with very little discussion.

Obtaining a height variance for an I-30 freeway pole sign over the standard 40 feet was definitely another matter, however.

For 35 minutes Council members discussed and then argued whether the In-N-Out location really needed a 60-foot freeway pole sign, as proposed by Fetz and project manager Mark Noack.

It was voted down, 4-2, because five of the present six members needed to support such a variance. Council members Glen Farris and Margo Nielsen voted against it. Matt Scott was unable to attend.

But in the end, it was Farris who budged from his 48-foot maximum limit and proposed a 50-foot tall sign, which all six members did agreed to.

A somewhat disappointed Noack told Council members that will work from the westbound side but eastbound drivers would not be able to see it.

He had told the Council that, at a cost of $25,000 for every ten feet of pole, the burger chain would not have asked for the variance unless they really believed the 60-foot pole sign was needed.

The discussion turned to an argument due to a short but heated exchange between Mayor Bill Cecil and Glen Farris.

As Farris seemed to be finishing his comments to the In-N-Out team, the Mayor said “You’ve made your point, Mr. Farris.” With his face red, Farris exclaimed, “Yes, I have made my point, Bill! And I will make my point!”

Then, after Farris abruptly stood up and walked out of the meeting, the Mayor called a five minute recess.

One council member said it appeared that Farris became upset because he felt the Mayor had unfairly interrupted him.

As part of the discussion, Council member David Sweet reminded his fellow Council members that they should be encouraging businesses to come to Rockwall by giving them what they need – generally-speaking.

“We have a businessman in front of us telling us what he needs to be successful in Rockwall,” he said. “Do we really want to send him away without helping him?”

Construction will begin soon but no schedule was announced.

12 Responses for “Famous In-N-Out Burger coming soon to Rockwall”

  1. Paul says:

    What happens when the next exception is for a 70′ sign?

    In-N-Out Burgers are great….. BOOTS BURGERS in downtown Rockwall are THE BEST!!

  2. Wes says:

    In-n-out coming is great, I just think that it’s silly that the city is arguing over sign height. For a city that has blown up on new money you’d think that be more flexible. In-n-out should bring in revenue from all cities close and I know for sure that people will drive in as far as Little Rock just to get their fix. I mean when I grew up in California we used to ditch class to drive and hour to get it for lunch.

  3. gandy says:

    Rockwall city council is 2 obsessed with signs…must be old foggies remembering the song. Signs, signs everywhere signs, blocking the scenery etc…whatever…for a group that can’t agree on REDBOX locations, fixing the square street, repairing sidewalks, etc. What do u expect? Agreement on signage? Whatever..In n Outis good @ least I can order a protein burger again?, hope these hayseeds get trained by CA

  4. David says:

    As a former small town P&Z member, I’ve learned that one variance leads to many, many, more. If you allow it for one, that becomes the minimum bar for future development. “No” to the sign variance. There was a reason for the 48′ maximum. Stick with it.
    The burgers aren’t all that great, just different. Once the “new” wears off, the crowds will be back at Sonic.

  5. Phil6 says:

    Forget the fancy California burger joints, let them go to Frisco. If they can’t attract a crowd because of their good food, why do they need a 60-foot sign right out by the Rockwall airport? Keep Rockwall unique, support local business…

  6. Brett says:

    I was a producer and lighting designer for 20+ years and LOVED when we would have shows in Vegas or Cali, I would get my IN and OUT fix. But alas, to me as a class of 93 graduate, my wife graduated in 92, nothing will ever beat a Bootsburger. And I have tried burgers all over the world. To me you can judge a lot by a burger. Many restaurants spend so much time planning their menu then throw a burger on there, cause ya gotta have a burger on the menu.
    One of my worries about the over development of Rockwall is loosing what made the town what it was. But is that an impossible task? How do we keep the small town feel but stay progressive? My suggestion is to not build many expansive shopping centers. How about having them all in one, architecturally pleasing. Parking underground maybe. I think I have jumped off the subject. I welcome in and out burger but am amazed how many rockwall newcomers know nothing about the shrine on Austin street. Go get ya a Bootsburger this week.

  7. Moe says:

    Two signs seems a waste. One sign that can be seen from both sides of the freeway seems reasonable.

  8. Ken says:

    There is a reason for the 48-foot maximum limit on signs in that area and the city council should stick with it. If business really wanted to increase business then allow for another sign or billboard on the other side of the highway. Thanks Mr. Ferris for trying to make a compromise and NOT giving a business everything they want.

  9. Keith A. Champy says:

    I say bring it on to Rockwall, Royce City and Fate. We need interesting concepts out this way. Maybe it will bring back the White Castle crave they had back in New Jersey many years ago. You don’t know until lyou give it a try. As an Exec. Chef here in Rockwall, I’d be willing to try taken an In and Out and turning it into something spectacular. I’d be proud to take one on. We need change. I’m ready!!!

  10. TheEducationalGeek says:

    I too can’t wait till this place opens! When I was living in California, I loved those burgers and have missed out since then but glad I moved back home to Texas…..California sucks and In-N-Out is the only thing they have going for them.

    Yes, it’s quite evident that Royse City is hard to work with as we have no Grocery Store!!! Blatantly lied to by the City Manager 8 years ago………

  11. Karen says:

    I hope this all gets worked out! If In-N-Out were to change its mind about having a location in Rockwall because the City is making such a big deal about a sign, it would be a HUGE, HUGE mistake. This is an incredible company! And it doesn’t hurt that they are by far, the BEST BURGERS in the country!
    I cannot wait for opening day!

  12. Ginny says:

    The cities of Rockwall, Fate and Royse City are difficult to work with. Ten extra feet for their sign would make the sign visible to the east bound traffic and increase their business. The city makes alot in sales tax because of business. They should help them when they can and quit charging them so much in impact fees. The impact is jobs for the citizens and revenue for the city in sales tax.

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