Press "Enter" to skip to content

Oakland's In-N-Out closes due to ongoing crime

In-N-Out, the Southern California-based burger chain, shut down its Oakland location for good at 1 a.m. Monday, after a final day of serving burgers in East Oakland.

While In-N-Out has relocated some of its stores before, this is the first time the chain has closed a restaurant in its 75-year history.

In a statement back in January, In-N-Out Chief Operating Officer Denny Warnick said that the decision to close was due to “ongoing issues with crime.” This closure marks the latest business to leave the corridor in East Oakland near Oakland International Airport.

The restaurant was known as In-N-Out location 193 and had existed at the site on Oakport Street for more than 18 years.

On Sunday, regular customers and former employees hung out at the restaurant and waited in drive-thru lines. A group of past employees from that location gathered to share memories and take group photos. Friends dropped by the restaurant to offer thanks and bouquets of flowers for employees.

“Genuinely we were all sad,” said Christy Mac, an Oakland resident and a former employee of the restaurant from more than a decade ago.

“Once we heard about the announcement that they were closing the store, all the previous employees that used to work here and everybody, we all collectively got into a group, like a group chat and all have been chatting about it up until today,” Mac explained. Mac looks back at her time working at the restaurant fondly, noting she would often run into people she grew up with at the restaurant and made friends who felt like family.

Former employees of the Oakland In-N-Out gather for a group photo on the restaurant’s last day of operation. March 24, 2024. NBC Bay Area Photo/ Alyssa Goard.

Mac said that from a business standpoint, she understands why the restaurant is closing, but she notes it is a loss for East Oakland.

“I think as far as the community, we all have to kind of like turn towards each other and start talking to each other,” she said.

On Sunday, several visible private security guards patrolled the outside of the restaurant and an Oakland police officer was stationed in a cruiser watching as people entered. Signs outside the restaurant warned guests about the risk of break-ins and urged them to lock their cars.

“We were here I think when they very first opened, we’ve been here at least– I can’t even count the times,” said Oakland resident Rey Campbell who had arrived to the location with his wife Joyce Campbell to enjoy burgers on the restuarant’s last day.

Joyce Campbell said that she will miss having the restaurant nearby. She enjoyed stopping by when she would be in the area getting her car serviced.

“When I do that, I come over here — just me alone — and have my burger and just enjoy myself,” she said.

“I hate seeing another business leaving Oakland,” Rey Campbell added.

“It seemed to be a pretty successful business that was paying people pretty well,” he said of the Oakland location.

In the January statement about the closure, In-N-Out said the Oakland location was “busy” and “profitable,” but “our top priority must be the safety and well-being of our Customers and Associates.”

A sign in front of the Oakland In-N-Out advises customers to lock their vehicles and not leave valuables in their cars to prevent break-ins. March 23, 2024. NBC Bay Area Photo/Alyssa Goard.

Last year, NBC Bay Area reported on a couple whose cars were broken into twice in the same day in the In-N-Out parking lot there.

The Oakland In-N-Out closure comes after the nearby Denny’s on Hegenberger shut down last month, also due to safety concerns. A Starbucks and a Black Bear Diner are among other businesses that have left the same area.

City leaders have told NBC Bay Area that they are working to meet with and retain businesses.

Many residents at the In-N-Out on Sunday said they would like to see policies in Oakland that make it easier for businesses to thrive and for customers to feel safe.

Rey Campbell said that if Oakland is able to decrease the amount of crime it’s been seeing that, maybe someday, “In-N-Out and other businesses [might] consider returning to Oakland.”

In-N-Out has said that all employees impacted by this closure will have the chance to either transfer to a nearby store or to get a severance package. The next closest locations are each about 5 miles away: the location on Hesperian Boulevard in San Leandro and the location on Willie Stargell Avenue in Alameda.

A sign outside the Oakland In-N-Out advises customers that the location will be permanently closed starting Monday, March 25, 2024. NBC Bay Area Photo/ Alyssa Goard.

Source: NBC Bay Area

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *