BURGER SLEUTHING: Signs point to In-N-Out drive-thru coming to central Aurora

AURORA | Are you sitting down? You could be driving through — in Aurora.

All signs point to a future In-N-Out burger drive-thru restaurant setting up shop near the Town Center of Aurora mall.

Timing: unknown.

“I can confirm that we are looking at a site located at the Town Center at Aurora,” an In-n-Out representative said after news of the sighting got out last week.

A planning application shows an unnamed drive-thru restaurant weaving through the city approval process for a location at 14150 East Alameda Avenue, which is currently occupied by a TGI Fridays.

The application itself makes no reference to the coveted California-based burger joint, but the biggest giveaway is the application’s images of the chain’s iconic palm tree branding for the planned 3,879-square-foot pad. The planning documents were submitted by the same civil engineering company that has submitted applications on behalf of In-N-Out in other Colorado municipalities.

New In-N-Out locations are slated to open in Colorado Springs, Lone Tree and Fort Collins in the coming months. 

Color and material information provided to the city about a proposed drive-thru restaurant near the Aurora mall.

Additionally, the Aurora application features a terracotta roof, much like the one portrayed in mock-ups of the recently-announced Fort Collins location and a rendering of the location near Park Meadows Mall, which was unanimously approved by the Lone Tree City Council last week.

The site development plan says the restaurant’s drive-thru will be able to handle all of the hype that comes along with ordering a Double-Double. The Aurora location is slated to hold a whopping 23 cars in the drive-thru at a time, suspiciously similar to the 26-car drive-thru planned at the Lone Tree location. The proposed Fort Collins location would be able to hold 20 cars, according to the application. 

A rendering of the In-N-Out proposed in Fort Collins. Note the similarities in the roof to the Aurora application.

The Aurora application proposes operating hours from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, with extended hours until 1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 

It’s unclear exactly when the chain may open, though the planning application estimates construction will take about six months to complete. The Lone Tree location is expected to open in late 2020.

The Irvine-based burger company announced in November 2017 it would expand to Colorado, first divulging a distribution center in Colorado Springs. 

Calls to the city’s planning department were not immediately returned. Ward III Councilwoman Marsha Berzins told the Sentinel she hasn’t heard any rumor, or information otherwise, about an In-N-Out coming to her ward, but she hopes it’s true.

Zell Cantrell of Greenwood Village-based developers Galloway & Company submitted the application’s first documents in September, according to city documents. Cantrell did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Cantrell is also the contact for the Fort Collins application. 

It’s not clear why developers chose the Aurora Town Center as a possible location for the superstar, California-based burger joint serving up animal-style fries, Double-Double’s and 4-by-4’s. 

The developer’s application is scheduled to be presented to the city’s planning commission for a hearing on Dec. 11, according to city documents.